|ESPN.com: NBA||[Print without images]|
Isiah Thomas asked. Only four Knicks responded.
So much for the Knicks embracing Larry Brown's replacement.
Thomas sent letters to Knicks players asking that they attend informal workouts in New York the day after Labor Day. However, only four showed up, a team source told the New York Daily News.
In a report Tuesday, the paper reported that Channing Frye, David Lee and two other unnamed players arrived the day after the holiday; the majority of the team arrived last week.
When Thomas was named to replace Brown as coach, he was given one year to turn around last season's 23-59 team to the point that it shows "significant progress towards its goal of eventually becoming an NBA championship team."
On Monday, Thomas admitted "there are going to be some tough times" ahead. And while the poor attendance at the workouts doesn't mean the team is defying the coach, it's not a good start.
"It's a tough league. It's a very unforgiving league as we've seen the last couple of years," Thomas told the paper. "When you're down people kick you."
"The most important thing is that we come together as a unit and we think and act like one."
At the team's first official practice Tuesday, Steve Francis provided hope the Knicks are buying into Thomas' plan of building camaraderie and confidence between players.
"In one game this year we'll play more [together] than we did all of last season," Francis told the paper.