Douglas making presence felt in New York

On Tuesday, Roger Mason Jr. wasn't the only Knick at the labor talks, where every team, except for the Celtics, had a player rep in attendance. While Mason Jr. served as the NBPA vice president, his teammate Toney Douglas was the Knicks member.

Douglas was also planning to go to yesterday's meeting, but wasn't able to make it. He did say that if the negotiations continue, he'll plan to be at more of them.

"I love being in there and seeing what's going to happen with the NBA," said Douglas, who has occasional conversations with Mason Jr. to get updates when he's not there. "I've learned a lot. This is my future too, seeing what's going on with the NBA. Knowing that possibly the next 10 years is how the deal is going to be, it's real important for me to be at these meetings and learn stuff, and see what's going on."

Not only has Douglas been a recent union participant in New York City, he's been spending his on-the-court time nearby as well. Douglas, who isn't currently exploring overseas options, has been training early in the mornings at Brewster High (Brewster, N.Y.), which is about 20 minutes from his house. He's been working on his shot, ball-handling, conditioning, getting stronger and more explosive, and different offensive moves to get to free throw line more this (potential) season.

Most importantly, the lockout has given him more time to rest and heal his right shoulder, which underwent labrum surgery in May after the Knicks were swept by the Celtics in the first round. Except for a week-long summertime trip to Honolulu and Waikiki Beach, Douglas has been taking advantage of the relaxation close to home.

"Even though I'm still working out like crazy with my shoulder and conditioning, it's just taking advantage of this type of time," Douglas said, "because once the season starts, we'll be rolling. I never had this type of time -- I'm always used to doing something -- but I'm resting my body and making sure everything is right physically with me. I'm feeling great. Each day I'm getting better and better. When we do start, I will be ready to go."

He'll have to be, because the players may have to report to their teams within two days of the lockout being resolved. And optimism is growing fast from Lockoutville.

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