Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Woody: Knicks must fill leadership void
By Ian Begley
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- No advanced statistic can measure how many wins Jason Kidd's advice helped procure for the Knicks last season. There's no way to know what kind of impact Rasheed Wallace's impromptu locker room talks had on New York's 54-win regular season.
With Jason Kidd in Brooklyn, Raymond Felton says he's ready to step up as a leader.
But we do know this: Veteran leaders such as Kidd, Wallace, Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby are gone -- and the remaining Knicks will try to fill the void.
"We were loaded with a lot of guys that showed leadership last year," Mike Woodson said Monday. "So guys like Tyson [Chandler] and Amar'e [Stoudemire], [Carmelo Anthony] -- the guys that have been in this league a long time -- have really got to show a little more leadership."
In addition to Felton, Woodson said he's counting on Pablo Prigioni and Beno Udrih -- the other ball handlers on the Knicks' roster -- to fill the void left by Kidd, Thomas & Co.
But the coach singled out Felton in a conversation before training camp.
"He's got to be more of a leader," Woodson said.
That's just fine with Felton.
"I've always been a leader wherever I've payed," Felton said earlier this month. "High school, college, I've always been a leader."
The 29-year-old Felton decided to take a "step back" last year, his first season back in New York. Instead of being a vocal presence in the locker room, he said he wanted to feel his teammates out and get acclimated to playing in New York.
"But after getting one year under my belt, definitely, I'm ready," Felton said.