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Thursday, October 3, 2013
Notes: Shump's 'minor' injury; Metta on D

By Ian Begley

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert sat out of Thursday's practice with what he called a "minor" right shoulder injury.

Shumpert downplayed the significance of the injury, saying the Knicks' medical staff told him to sit out of practice as a precaution.

He has not undergone any MRI or X-rays and gave no indication that there were any plans to do so.

Iman Shumpert
Iman Shumpert doesn't expect to have an MRI or X-Rays on his shoulder.
Shumpert did not know when he would return to practice. For now, team doctors have advised him to rest until the soreness in his shoulder subsides.

"They just don't want to push it. They said if it's sore today so just chill out, no rush right now, we just need you healthy for the first game," Shumpert said.

Metta defends D'Antoni's D: Mike D'Antoni has been criticized in Los Angeles and New York for his teams' inability to play defense. But Metta World Peace says it's on the players, not D'Antoni, to get stops.

"It’s not really up to him to be a defensive coach. When you’ve got players, players got to put in the work," World Peace said. "You really can’t blame the coach for everything. Sometimes the players, you’ve been playing basketball since you were 8, you’ve been taught techniques in college, different things, you pretty much know how to play. So you can’t blame the coach for defensive mistakes every time."

Strong candidates at D-League tryouts: The Knicks' D-League team, the Erie BayHawks, held an open tryout earlier this week at Baruch College in Manhattan. The idea was to have any and all players who were interested tryout in front BayHawks coach Gene Cross.

But some established players showed up as well, knowing that they could play for Cross and members of the the Knicks' front office, including assistant GM Allan Houston, director of pro personnel Mark Hughes and scouting director Kristian Petesic.

Wing Dami Sapara, who had spent time working out at the Knicks' facility prior to training camp, impressed coaches with his athleticism.

He had several fast-break and put-back dunks.

Sapara is no stranger to the Knicks, having worked out with some veterans in Greenburgh. He saw this as another opportunity to show team brass what he can do.

"It's very important. You never know who is watching. You never want to close the door on any opportunity," Sapara said.

"I've got a buzz but I'm not in the door yet, so I have to scratch and claw like I'm a guy off the street. I have to have that mentality."

Others who had a strong showing at the tryouts include 6-foot-10 C Kyle Hunt, who also worked out recently for the Knicks and Pacers. Six-foot-6 Akeem Ellis and 6-10 big men Brian Addison and Desmond Blue also stood out.

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