New York Knicks: Lance Stephenson

Melo workouts draw Durant, J.R. & others

August, 25, 2014
Aug 25
To get in playing shape before training camp, many NBA players head to warm weather cities like Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Miami to workout.

But last week, some of the biggest names in the NBA were training a couple blocks away from Madison Square Garden.

Tzvi Grossman Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant working out at a gym in midtown Manhattan.
Carmelo Anthony hosted workouts at his gym in midtown Manhattan last week that included Kevin Durant, J.R. Smith, Lance Stephenson, Kemba Walker, Nerlens Noel and David Lee, among others.

The workouts also served as a mini-camp of sorts for the Knicks. Second-year guard Tim Hardaway Jr. was on hand, as was rookie Cleanthony Early. Ex-Knick Toure' Murry also played, as did Chris Smith, J.R.’s younger brother, who spent time with the Knicks last season.

So, how did some of the top players in the NBA end up in Anthony’s gym?

Knicks player development coach Chris Brickley was tasked with putting the workouts together. Brickley, a former Louisville player, has developed a strong rapport with many Knicks veterans, including Smith and Anthony, and is well-regarded for his work with players. So Anthony turned to Brickley to find enough NBA talent to put together a quality workout at his gym.

Brickley, with the help of player manager Tzvi Grossman, organized the roster for last week’s games, which featured several one on one battles between Anthony and Durant.

Anthony referenced the workouts last week when talking about how “antsy” he was for the season to start.

“You can feel it,” Anthony said. “I had a pro week this week at my gym and you can feel it everybody’s antsy, waiting to get back. I can’t wait.”

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

J.R. eyes Pacers' Stephenson at Dyckman

June, 13, 2013
Wednesday was the opening night of New York City's popular Dyckman streetball league, and the Knicks' Sixth Man Award winner J.R. Smith was in attendance.

[+] EnlargeJ.R. Smith
Sharon BondJ.R. Smith and his brother Chris took in some Big Apple hoops with Sharon Bond, Dyckman's VP of marketing and media.
Smith and his younger brother Chris watched from courtside as another standout player from the New York area took the court.

That was Brooklyn's finest and New York State's all-time leading scorer in high school basketball -- Lance Stephenson, who now plays for the Indiana Pacers. After taking in a few minutes of the headline game, he suited up midway through the first half and showcased his full-court speed with the ball.

Stephenson, whose streetball nickname is "Born Ready," had a few nice breakaway layups. But the crowd of around 1,000 didn't go wild until former New Jersey Net Sundiata Gaines, who's from Queens, showed Stephenson up on back-to-back 3-pointers. Fans started rushing the court, and the game had to be stopped for a few minutes.

Smith and Stephenson, who competed against each other in the Eastern Conference semifinals, shared the same sideline during the game. They exchanged a few words but didn't pal around -- even during halftime. When J.R. was mobbed by dozens of fans, Stephenson was in another area of the court.

In the end, Made Off Movement, led by Gaines and former Christ the King High School star Erving Walker, who went on to play at Florida, beat Stephenson's Skullgang squad 73-67.

Chris Smith told that J.R. won't be able to play in streetball league games, which he likes to do every summer, until he "decides where he's going in free agency and after NBA summer league," which is in mid-July.

On Monday night at Dyckman, the Knicks, who are a league sponsor, will have a special team night. Several players and the Knicks City Dancers will be at the streetball court, which is located at 204th Street and Nagle Avenue.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.



Carmelo Anthony
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2