New York Knicks: Ian Begley

Top quotes of the Knicks' season

May, 22, 2012
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.

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Video: Knicks' offseason moves

May, 18, 2012

ESPN New York's Ian Begley and Jared Zwerling break down the Knicks' salary cap situation and discuss potential moves the team will make in the offsesaon.

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Hot Button: Should Lin play in Game 5?

May, 7, 2012

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

ESPN New York's Ian Begley and Jared Zwerling debated whether or not Jeremy Lin should play in Game 5.

Click here to read their arguments and provide your own.

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Video: A look ahead to Game 4

May, 4, 2012

ESPN New York's Jared Zwerling and Ian Begley preview Sunday’s Game 4 between the Knicks and Heat, starting at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

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4,022 days and counting?

May, 3, 2012
The last time the Knicks won a playoff game, April 29, 2001, a gallon of gas cost only $1.70.

Not only is gas now $3.82 (the national average), making more and more car owners frustrated over rising fuel prices, but the Knicks are currently tied with the Grizzlies for most consecutive playoff losses in NBA history (12), which should make fans cringe heading into Thursday night's Game 3.

AP Photo/Charles Sykes
International pop superstar Beyonce was still a member of Destiny's Child when the Knicks last won a playoff game.

That's because the Knicks are without Jeremy Lin, Amare Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert, have a hobbled Baron Davis and Jared Jeffries in the lineup, and face a situation knowing that if they go down 0-3 in their series against the Heat, no team has ever come back from that deficit.

All they need is a playoff win, which happened, if you can believe it, all of 4,022 days ago. That's when the Knicks beat the Raptors, 97-89, in Toronto to take a 2-1 series lead in the first round. Led by Allan Houston's 24 points and Latrell Sprewell's 20, the rest of the starting five featured point guard Mark Jackson, power forward Othella Harrington and center Kurt Thomas. Former Knicks Charles Oakley, Antonio Davis and Jerome Williams were on the Raptors.

As we rewound the clock to April 29, 2001, we couldn't believe how long that's really been. Even Wikipedia was only in its third month of existence. Here are some interesting sports and pop culture tidbits from that day and week:

1. Manager Joe Torre wins No. 500 with the Yankees. On that day, the Yankees beat the Athletics, 3-1, at Yankee Stadium. While Derek Jeter went 2-for-4 with an RBI, Roger Clemens pitched seven innings, only allowing one run, and Mariano Rivera saved the game. Later that fall, with Torre as manager, the Yankees went to the World Series, but lost to the Diamondbacks in seven games.

2. President George W. Bush serves his first 100 days in office during his first term. That day, Bush's top political advisor, Karl Rove, told CNN, "We got a real strong start in the first 100 days. It's going to allow us to make a lot of progress in the days to come." Rove said the administration's priority for the next 100 days would be to get the top priorities of his administration through Congress, including a tax cut, education reform and to allow government funding for faith-based social services.

3. Most popular entertainment that week -- Top song (based on the Billboard Hot 100 chart): "All for You" by Janet Jackson ... Top-grossing movie: "Driven," starring Sylvester Stallone, about a young driver's effort to win the Champ Car World Series auto racing championship, earned $12,174,504 at the weekend box office ... Most-watched TV show: "Survivor: The Australian Outback" peaked at around 30 million total viewers before its final episode on May 3, 2001 ... Best-selling books (based on The New York Times): "Carolina Moon" (fiction) by Nora Roberts, about a woman who returns to the town where she grew up and where her best friend was murdered; and "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" (nonfiction) by Dave Eggers about a young man's account of raising his eight-year-old brother after their parents died just weeks apart.

4. Beyonce was still with Destiny's Child. Yes, that's how long it's been. After the R&B trio released their holiday album "8 Days of Christmas" in October 2001, they announced a hiatus to pursue their own careers. After her two group members, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, debuted their solo albums, Beyonce released "Dangerously in Love" two years later, which debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.

5. Actress Angelina Jolie was dating Billy Bob Thornton. The couple was best known for their eccentric displays of affection, which reportedly included wearing vials of each other's blood around their necks. Thornton later clarified that the "vials" were two small lockets, each containing only a single drop of blood.

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Video: The latest on Amare and Tyson

May, 2, 2012

ESPN New York's Jared Zwerling and Ian Begley discuss the latest news surrounding Amare Stoudemire's injury and Tyson Chandler's health and honor as Defensive Player of the Year, as the Knicks look to get back into their series against the Heat in Game 3 Thursday night.

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Video: Reaction to Amare's injury

May, 1, 2012

ESPN New York's Jared Zwerling and Ian Begley discuss Amare Stoudemire's hand injury and how the Knicks can get back into their series against the Heat.

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W2W4: Knicks at Heat, Game 2

April, 30, 2012
Here are three things to watch for Monday night in Miami:


Before Game 1, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said this about Carmelo Anthony: "Quite frankly, Carmelo is arguably a top-three toughest cover in this league." And that's exactly why the Heat's defensive game plan in Game 1 basically came down to two words: Stop Melo. The Heat fronted him, doubled him -- did everything they could to make it difficult for him to catch the ball. But let's face it: While the Heat's defense was dominant, led by LeBron James, Melo missed routine jumpshots he usually makes. Anthony can't stop taking those, but he also has to attack the basket more. In Game 1, the Knicks only went to the foul line 11 times -- 11! -- and he accounted for only five of them. That has to change tonight.


After starting off strong in Game 1, Amare Stoudemire struggled the rest of the way. He went 2-for-7 from the field and scored just nine points. The Knicks need more from Stoudemire if they have any hope of getting back in this series. Stoudemire looked good for large stretches of the four regular-season games he played after returning from a back injury. But he wasn't as engaged on Saturday. Before the game, Mike Woodson was asked if he would do anything to get Stoudemire going in Game 2. "I'm not glued into just getting Amare off," he said. "I'm just not. He's just got to stay with what we've been doing and things will happen for him, I think."


Instead of Iman Shumpert guarding Dwyane Wade in Game 2, Landry Fields will be on the Heat's All-Star shooting guard. That might present problems for the Knicks. Shumpert is the Knicks' top perimeter defender, so there will likely be a steep drop off with Fields guarding Wade. Fields is forced to guard Wade because Shumpert went down with an ACL injury on Saturday. The rookie is out six to eight months.

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Knicks Practice Report

April, 30, 2012
ESPN New York's Jared Zwerling and Ian Begley provide a health update on the Knicks and discuss the adjustments Carmelo Anthony will need to make heading into Game 2.

Click here to listen.

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Video: How can the Knicks bounce back?

April, 29, 2012

ESPN New York's Ian Begley and Jared Zwerling look back on the Knicks' devastating Game 1 loss and how the injury-plagued team can bounce back Monday night.

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Video: Bulls or Heat?

April, 26, 2012

ESPN New York's Jared Zwerling and Ian Begley discuss whether the Bulls or Heat are the better matchup for the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs.

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Video: Where will the Knicks finish?

April, 26, 2012

ESPN New York's Ian Begley and Jared Zwerling discuss the wild final day of the regular season for the Knicks and what awaits them heading into the playoffs.

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ESPN New York NBA podcast: 4/17

April, 17, 2012
Welcome to ESPN New York's NBA podcast, in which Jared Zwerling and Ian Begley will talk Knicks, a little NBA and occasionally the world of basketball.

Zwerling and Begley give you an Amare Stoudemire health update, debate which player the Knicks are currently missing more (Stoudemire or Jeremy Lin), discuss J.R. Smith's future with the team and preview the Knicks-Celtics game Tuesday night at the Garden.

Play Download

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Video: Knicks-Bulls preview

April, 7, 2012

ESPN New York's Ian Begley and Jared Zwerling preview Sunday's matchup between the Knicks and Bulls on ABC at 1 p.m. ET.

Opening Tip: Bulls or Heat?

April, 6, 2012
Getty ImagesIf Melo's Knicks make the playoffs, they'll run into LeBron or Rose in the first round.
Every weekday morning throughout the season, will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.

Today's Burning Question: With the Knicks likely to finish as the seventh or eighth seed -- assuming they make the playoffs -- which opponent would they have a better chance against in the first round: the Chicago Bulls or Miami Heat?

Ian Begley thinks it's the Bulls. Jared Zwerling says the Heat. Here are their arguments:


If the Knicks make the playoffs and wind up playing either Chicago or Miami, they are in big trouble. Barring a monumental injury on either roster, the Knicks would have very little chance of getting out of the first round.

Both Miami and Chicago have had fantastic seasons. They are at the top of the Eastern Conference, nearly identical in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

But where they differ is pace. Chicago is tied for 25th in possessions per game. Miami is middle of the pack. The Bulls use nearly five fewer possessions per game than the Knicks, and I think this is an important distinction, one that makes Chicago a better matchup for New York than Miami.

Mike Woodson's Knicks have shown they can excel in the half court, slowing the offense down to get the ball to Carmelo Anthony in isolation or find open shooters. So based on what we've seen under Woodson, they should be able to adapt to any pace the Bulls want to establish.

Who knows how healthy Derrick Rose is? He's missed 12 games because of a nagging groin injury. And that can linger even after a player returns to the floor. If Rose returns, he would be a tough cover, but in Iman Shumpert the Knicks have one of the top perimeter defenders in the league.

The Knicks will rely heavily on Anthony to generate offense with Jeremy Lin and Amare Stoudemire likely out. Luol Deng is a fine defender, but if I'm a Knicks fan, I have to think Anthony going up against Deng is a better matchup than Anthony versus Miami's LeBron James (assuming the opposing coach uses his small forward to guard Anthony).


Which potential first-round opponent is a better matchup for the Knicks?


Discuss (Total votes: 3,957)


Consistency, to me, is what the argument between the Bulls and Heat comes down to, and the Bulls have it more, especially on defense. That's why they're the scarier opponent.

Here's a key stat: 15-7. That's the Bulls' record this season without their floor general and reigning MVP Derrick Rose on the court (because of injuries). They shut down opponents just the same: around 90 points allowed per game, a mark that ranks them second in the league (after the Philadelphia 76ers). Then, with D-Rose in the lineup, they average about nine more points.

When the Bulls beat the Celtics on Thursday night, 93-86, their first three were C.J. Watson, Richard Hamilton and Luol Deng. On the flip side, when the Heat were cooled down by the Celtics last week, 91-72, their first three were Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. That speaks volumes to that consistency. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has such a great system in place, and it's never messed with. In comparison, the Heat are more susceptible to losing their identity in a game and playing to the opponent's defense.

Defense is exactly what the Knicks demonstrate now under Mike Woodson, holding opponents to 87.8 points per game, and that's their best poison to defeat the Heat. That's how the Celtics did it on April 1.

In addition, not only would Carmelo Anthony put on a monster effort in the series, offensively and defensively, to play up to the challenge of facing James, but all of the Knicks would be energized playing in the historic rivalry, which goes back to the 1990s.

While the Heat's pick-and-roll defense is deadly, completely dismantling Jeremy Lin on Feb. 23, the Knicks don't rely on that play call as much. Their offense runs more through Anthony. Depending on how the Heat adjust in their final matchup with the Knicks, April 15 at the Garden, that will be a big determining factor for how the first round could play out. But for now, I'm taking the Heat over the Bulls.

You've heard our takes. Now, we want to hear from you. Which opponent do you think the Knicks would have a better chance against in the first round of the playoffs? Chime in with your comments below.

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