The “New York Post” reported Monday night that according to their sources the New York Knicks and the Houston Rockets have a deal in place, that will send veteran center Marcus Camby back to the Knicks for his second stint with the club. His first tour of duty in New York was from 1998-2002. According to the source, Camby will ink a three-year pact that will pay him $13 million, although the guaranteed money is only $10 million. New York will acquire the veteran big man in a sign and trade deal with Houston, as they will send Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson and Jerome Jordan back to the Rockets.
The 38-year-old veteran who recently completed season number 16 in the Association, can still clean the glass as he averaged 9.0 rebounds per game. He can also still be a potent defensive force, as he blocked 1.4 shots per contest and he retains the ability to shut down his opponent. The move gives New York two veteran leaders that know that defense leads to Championships, as veteran point guard Jason Kidd will also be joining the roster for next season.
Camby and J-Kidd have the personalities and the resumes to exert their influence on their new teammates and Camby has a long-term history with Carmelo Anthony from their days with the Denver Nuggets. Although starting center Tyson Chandler, won the NBA Defensive Player Of The Year Award, in this past campaign, defense is a foreign concept with most of the roster, as it has been for years. The two veterans will have their work cut out for them, trying to increase their new teammates defensive intensity.
Former head coach Mike D’Antoni could not spell the word defense, if spotted all the consonants and the lack of defense was even worse under his predecessor, Isiah Thomas. The last time that the Knicks had a defensive mind-set as a team, was when Jeff Van Gundy was their bench boss, before bailing on them in the middle of a losing season. What made their lack of defense so obvious this past season, was the fact that their offense was not the force it had been, even in the team’s worst campaigns in the last few years.
Apparently many Knicks fans have not been overly pleased with the announcement that Kidd would be blue and orange in the upcoming campaign, because his skills have ebbed as he has aged. Camby, also realizes that his best days are now in the rear-view mirror, but what the New York fans to realize, is the leadership they will bring to the team that they root for, will makeup for their diminished skills.