Tim Hardaway Jr. started 54 of the 57 games he played last season, but he doesn’t mind having to fight for a starting position in camp, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. New coach David Fizdale has declared an open competition for all five starting roles, which means there are no guarantees even for a player like Hardaway, who has the third-highest salary on the team at $17.325MM.
“Everybody has to compete,’’ Hardaway said. “No spots are given. Everything is earned. So you’ve got to go out there and play with heart, play with passion. He’s going to make the right decision, put the five guys that he wants on the floor to start the game and we go on from there.”
Hardaway Jr. has a much longer relationship with Fizdale than any of his Knicks teammates. Hardaay’s father played for the Heat when Fizdale entered the league as a video coordinator in 1997/98 and served as a scout for Miami while Fizdale was an assistant coach.
“I just remember him being this little kid running around Miami Arena,” Fizdale said. “Now how my life’s come full circle with him. Now I’m his coach. It’s just fun for me. Because we have that connection with our families. … I really want to see him make it, but his deal is the same as everybody else’s: Earn it.’’
There’s more this morning from New York:
- Ongoing negotiations regarding a buyout for Joakim Noah are preventing the Knicks from making another roster move, Berman writes in a separate story. They want to sign former Columbia forward Jeff Coby for training camp, but already have 20 players and can’t make a move until the Noah situation is resolved.
- The Nets aren’t considered serious suitors for Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler anymore and are happy with the wing players they have on their roster, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Caris LeVert, DeMarre Carroll and Allen Crabbe should also see major minutes this season, along with Joe Harris, who re-signed over the summer. “First two days of training camp, he’s been fantastic, quite honestly. I’m going to call it like it is,” coach Kenny Atkinson said of LeVert.
- Former Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek is helping the Nets in an unofficial role during training camp and may continue to advise the team at times during the season, Lewis writes in another piece. Hornacek, who was dismissed by New York after last season ended, is a friend of Atkinson’s.