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Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Top quotes of the Knicks' season

By Jared Zwerling and Ian Begley

Knicks writers Jared Zwerling and Ian Begley went through the archives to find the most memorable quotes of the season, which recap a few of the season highlights and show some of the humorous and lighter moments from the coaches and players. Here's their top 10 list (in chronological order):

Dec. 21 at the Garden -- After the Knicks beat the Nets in their last preseason game, Amare Stoudemire and Josh Harrellson, an avid hunter, had a funny conversation in the locker room. Harrellson asked where they could go hunting this season, and Stoudemire said, "South Florida." A half-amused, half-confused Harrellson asked him, "What can we hunt in South Florida?" and Stoudemire replied with, "We're hunting D-Wade and LeBron." The Knicks ended up going 1-7 against the Heat during the regular season and playoffs.

Feb. 6 at the Garden (three different quotes) -- After Jared Jeffries recorded 13 points, eight rebounds, two steals, a blocked shot and drew five offensive fouls in a win over the Jazz, Mike D'Antoni had some words for Knicks fans who routinely booed the backup center. He said, "Indulge me for one second. Anybody who boos Jared Jeffries has got to re-examine their life a little bit. I am sorry to have to say this. I love our fans. I like MSG, the arena. But here's a guy who came back to us, minimum contract, he could have gone to a lot of other teams." [To read the full quote and story, click here.]

20 minutes later in the locker room, Jeffries said he would "die" for D'Antoni. "Me and Coach have a great relationship," he said. "That's why I take charges, why I dive out there, because he's the best coach in the NBA. There's no coach in the NBA that's a better players' coach." Interestingly, during an interview on ESPN New York radio after the season had ended, Jeffries said D'Antoni was more focused on coaching plays and Mike Woodson was better at handling players' personalities.

That same night, after Lin scored 28 points and eight assists, D'Antoni said this about the starting point guard: "I'm riding him like freaking Secretariat [laughs]. I was going to take him out, and he looked at me and said, 'I don't want to come out.'"

Feb. 14 in Toronto -- After Lin hit his first game-winner of his NBA career to beat the Raptors -- a 3-pointer from the top of the key over Jose Calderon -- D'Antoni joked, "I'm just glad it went like this so we can calm the Linsanity down."

Feb. 24 in Orlando -- During his own press conference at All-Star Weekend in front of roughly 200 media members from around the world, Lin revealed the dunk that Iman Shumpert would've tried to pull off if he was healthy (the rookie pulled out due to a left knee injury). "We actually had a sweet idea," Lin explained. "Landry [Fields] was going to roll a couch out with a cover over it, I was going to be sleeping underneath it and then we were going to pull the cover. I was going to throw Iman an alley-oop from the couch, and he was going to jump over both me and the couch, windmill it and then sit down and have Landry hand him a Sprite [the sponsor of the dunk contest]."

March 1 at the training facility -- After practice, D'Antoni was asked if Steve Novak had any unique workout routine that made him one of the league's best 3-point shooters. "I don't know. I hear he eats a lot of cheese," D'Antoni said, smiling. "I have no idea." Novak, a Wisconsin native, started copying Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' "title belt" celebration after some of his makes. He became known as Mr. Discount Triple Check.

March 26 at the Garden -- Several minutes before the Knicks PR staff closed the locker room to media access, Carmelo Anthony walked in and spoke to a small group of reporters, who broke him the news that Stoudemire would be out indefinitely with a bulging disk in his lower back. Melo's response? "Oh s---! ... For this to happen right now, at a crucial point of the season where we really need these wins and we really need all the guys out there, it's a big hit for us right now." The Knicks ended up going 9-4 in STAT's absence.

May 8 at the training facility -- The day before Game 5 in Miami, where Stoudemire suffered a left hand laceration after Game 2 by hitting the glass encasing surrounding a fire extinguisher, he said, smiling, "I don't want to look at the fire extinguisher at all, but getting a win in Miami would be huge for us." Neither happened.

May 10 at the training facility -- A day after the Knicks' season ended, a reporter brought up Anthony and Stoudemire's chemistry issues, and the normally affable Anthony grew visibly annoyed. "I get tired of hearing, 'Can it work? Will it work?'" he said. "We're here to play basketball. We'll figure it out. I don't think it's something that's that difficult to figure out." We will see about that ...

What's your most memorable quote? Leave us your comments below.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.