Terry Rozier made his first trip of the season tonight to Madison Square Garden, which he thought this summer might be his home arena, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. The Knicks pursued the former Celtic in free agency, but declined to match the best offer from the Hornets, who paid him $58MM over three years.
“It was probably one of my first options,’’ Rozier said of going to New York. “I probably was going to make it happen. Other things happened and I ended up going to Charlotte. It was the interest they showed in me, that was big. The organization believed in me, why not.’’
The Knicks wound up signing a short-term deal with Elfrid Payton, who missed his ninth straight game tonight with a strained hamstring. Rozier, who is averaging 17.0 points and 4.9 assists per game while shooting 38.4% beyond the arc, could have brought some stability to the team’s point guard situation.
“I didn’t know how crazy it gets once that free agency starts,’’ he said. “[The Knicks] were one of the teams I was active with. It was hard to sleep. I was getting phone calls with my agent so much.’’
There’s more from New York:
- Another Hornets guard who expected to be a Knick is Malik Monk, who believed New York was going to draft him two years ago before the team opted for Frank Ntilikina, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Monk worked out for former team president Phil Jackson shortly before the draft and had dinner with several Knicks representatives. “Me, my agent, everybody in my agency, my family — we thought we were going to New York,” Monk said. “It was here, my agent is here (based in New York), a great agent, everybody thought it was going to be here. Went to dinner with (Jackson), had a great workout, everything was positive.”
Kristaps Porzingis was loudly booed during his return to the Garden this week, but Carmelo Anthony remains a beloved figure even though they both wanted to leave town, notes Frank Isola of The Athletic. They are viewed differently, Isola observes, because the Knicks were starting to rebuild when they unloaded Anthony and had nothing to gain by trying to convince fans that the breakup was his fault.
- Coach David Fizdale believes past failures and the desires of the New York crowd for a winner are affecting his team, states Colin Martin of SNY.tv. “I really felt like this team is just trying to do so well for the city,” Fizdale said. “… Their intentions are right. They’re trying to carry the weight of the city on their shoulders. I just told them you can’t do that. I said it’s an impossible task. You’ve got to focus on who’s around you in the locker room and put forth effort for the people in the locker room and the city will appreciate that kind of effort.”