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Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Covington, Johnson

Steve Kerr rejecting team president Phil Jackson’s offer to become the coach of the Knicks was the first sign that Jackson and his 13 championship rings aren’t enough to sell people on New York’s chances of winning, opines George Willis of the New York Post. Willis argues that if Jackson can’t convince an inexperienced coach to come to the Knicks, it doesn’t bode well for the team’s chances of attracting stars to the Big Apple. The Knicks have more than $32.717MM in commitments against a projected $66.5MM salary cap for next season.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Langston Galloway is starting to feel comfortable on the Knicks, as he tells Steve Serby of the New York Post. “Yeah, I mean I’m trying to prove that every day, that I belong. It’s not easy to try to do that, but each day I just try to build off of the last, not look backwards but keep moving forward. I’m trying to stay up here for the rest of my career. You can’t look at it as a long process, but just taking it day by day, and I feel I can prove that I belong, and continue to stay up here,” said Galloway. The point guard is averaging 11.4 points and 3.1 assists per contest in 14 games for New York this season.
  • Robert Covington‘s perimeter shooting may make him a long-term asset for the Sixers, writes Tom Moore of Calkins Media. Going into Saturday’s game, Covington was hitting 38.4% from beyond the arc and leading Philadelphia with 94 made three-pointers. Covington signed a four-year, $4.2MM contract with the Sixers in November.
  • James Johnson‘s versatility has impressed the Raptors as he makes a case for more playing time, writes Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun. Johnson, who seems equally comfortable as a small forward or power forward, returned to the court Friday after missing four games with an injury. He scored 16 points in 19 minutes on a perfect 7-for-7 shooting night. You work on your game,” Johnson said of his time off. “You stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.” Johnson is signed for $2.5MM this season and another $2.5MM next season.

Chris Crouse contributed to this post

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