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I'm Happy for Him
ESPN The Magazine

When you talk about how Latrell has turned things around since he's been in New York, it's pretty simple: He hasn't just done a good job -- he's done an extremely good job. I wouldn't be the one to answer why it's happened, but the why of it doesn't matter. He's in a good situation, and he's made the most of it -- on and off the court. I'm happy for him.

Obviously, I don't like talking about the whole thing that happened between us. Of course, people are always asking me about it, and I understand it's always going to be with us.

I do think there'll come a time when we sit down and talk. But it's not something that's necessary for either Spree or me, and the timing has never been right. And doing it publicly isn't right for either of us. In fact, I feel badly that he's called upon to address this all the time. I know he gets asked, "When are you guys going to get together?" more than I am. If we do get together, I don't imagine we'll talk about what happened that day. I know it's not something I want to talk about, and I'd guess he feels the same way.

When I watch the Knicks, I watch Spree a little closer than other players, just as I do almost all of my former players. But I'm reluctant to say, "Look how far he's come since then." I don't think that's fair to Spree. He was an All-Star before this, and he's an All-Star now. I think it would denigrate him as a player to say that he's turned everything around.

I know Spree and Jeff Van Gundy have a great relationship, and I'm not surprised. Jeff and I talked, and there were valid questions raised at the time. But the bottom line is Spree is a smart basketball player.

Every coach-and-player relationship is different. I always felt what happened with Spree and me was not reflective of our relationship. Granted, at the end the relationship was not good. But I still think what happened was an aberration. In the last three seasons, Spree has proven that.

This article appears in the April 30 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

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