According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, New York Knicks’ guard/forward Iman Shumpert is all about getting down to “business” this season after a misunderstanding with James Dolan this past summer.
Earlier in the summer it was said that, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith—in an interview he did with Dwight Howard (see video below)—he heard James Dolan wanted to trade Shumpert because Shumpert, presumably, didn’t want to play in the Las Vegas summer league.
From there it became a he said, she said battle. Some suggested that Shumpert was upset about all the trade talks, but Shumpert has since denied that.
At a local ping pong tournament featuring various sports celebrities (including New York Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist, New York Yankees’ outfielder Brett Gardner and tennis star Serena Williams), Shumpert came out and declared he is putting behind all the rumors and the innuendo, and is all about getting back to playing basketball.
“That’s fine, that’s the media,’’ Shumpert said at yesterday’s Delta Open event with U.S. Open’s No. 1 seed Serena Williams at Madison Square Park. “Things get blown up in this day and age, with social media. It’s crazy. That video got out there and stuff happens. I’m happy to be a Knick. I’m worried about business.”
As Berman points out in the article, Smith has since said Dolan had no ill will with Shumpert, since Shumpert did show up to Las Vegas to play in the summer league, even though he played in only one game.
Asked if he knows for certain if Dolan is still irritated, Shumpert said, “I don’t know. It doesn’t concern me. I got to make sure we go out and play basketball.’’
What is at stake here is that the Knicks want the best out of Shumpert, since he is such a valued commodity to the Knicks and their future. They want to tap the most potential out of Shumpert this year, as this could be a breakout year for the third-year player. At first, the Knicks wanted Shumpert to hone his craft at point guard, but since the team signed Beno Udrih that has been pushed to the back burner.
This will also be the first time Shumpert will have a full training camp to work with, as the lockout in 2011 curtailed his development in his rookie year and his knee injury put a crimp in things last fall. So, suffice to say, the Knicks are expecting big things out of Shumpert this season.
So, any animosity—if there was any—should be dead and buried now. It’s time to move forward and moving forward involves a happy and healthy Shumpert.
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