He was right?
Amar'e Stoudemire admitted yesterday the difficult decision it was to leave Phoenix and Steve Nash and come to the Knicks. It could turn into the wrong decision if his new point guard, Raymond Felton, doesn't start getting it.
Even if Felton starts grasping coach Mike D'Antoni's offense, it's doubtful Stoudemire-Felton will compare to Stoudemire-Nash.
"It was a great opportunity for both of us," Stoudemire said of his tenure with Nash. "We worked well with each other. We complemented each other's games. It was a great friendship and relationship. It was a tough decision to leave Phoenix."
Asked if he could develop the same bond with Felton, Stoudemire spoke cautiously. "I don't want to put extra pressure on Raymond," Stoudemire said. "He works extremely hard at his craft. Raymond's special in his own different way. We're looking for him to reach his full potential."
Yesterday, Felton continued to struggle during a scrimmage at the Knicks' open practice at the Garden, which drew 6,500. He rushed one wild jump pass out of bounds and had another intercepted easily. The white jerseys of the second unit beat Felton and Stoudemire's starting blue team.
Felton, who had five turnovers against the Wolves in Paris, hasn't picked up the high tempo after running Larry Brown's slowball offense in Charlotte.
"Maybe it's somewhat of an adjustment [for him], a different system at the point-guard position [who is] accustomed to a whole different style of play," Stoudemire said.
While Stoudemire talked about Nash in one corner of the locker room, Felton didn't exactly want to delve into the subject.
"I don't want it to be like Nash and him because I'm Raymond," Felton said. "We're trying to get our own chemistry together and that's what the practices and preseason games are for.
"I got a big man who can catch the ball and finish a lot of ways. It's something I didn't really have in Charlotte. I have a big man who does everything and makes my job easier."
Stoudemire realizes it will take time for Felton to learn Stoudemire's every quirk.
"He has to figure it out," Stoudemire said. "It won't be that hard. It's difficult at times . . . but we have 18 days before Game 1.
D'Antoni isn't panicking yet.
"We've got to find that medium where Raymond doesn't go too fast," D'Antoni said. "There's a time to push, time to calm it down. A lot of that is in Raymond's hands. There's times he's going too fast in the halfcourt."
"There's an adjustment any time you bring in 10 different guys, different coach, different system and ask him to do something he's not quite ready to do today. I would expect when preseason is over, he'll be ready to roll."
There is a theory: so goes Felton, so go the Knicks. When they signed Felton to a two-year $15 million, the Knicks thought they had upgraded immensely from the two-year Chris Duhon disaster that followed D'Antoni's decision to banish Stephon Marbury.
D'Antoni, who has never won in the NBA without Nash, endorsed that premise two days before training camp. "If you have a really good point guard, you're going to be pretty good and your coach is going to look good," D'Antoni said.
He was right?
Absolutely....just surprised he verbalized it to a reporter