Knicks in a free fall

New Raptor Antonio Davis says Knicks coach Larry Brown, who in the past has coached veteran teams,...

New Raptor Antonio Davis says Knicks coach Larry Brown, who in the past has coached veteran teams, is having trouble teaching the younger guys on the team this season. (Toronto Sun File/David Lucas)

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:50 AM ET

NEW YORK -- New York, New York, Antonio Davis does not want to be a part of it.

Unlike legendary crooner Frank Sinatra, the newest Raptor isn't craving Manhattan. Hard to blame him, considering the Knicks have continued in free-fall mode since trading Davis to the Raptors for Jalen Rose and a first-round pick Feb. 3.

Davis returns to the basketball mecca of Madison Square Garden tonight for a game against a horrible Knicks team that has lost 10 games in a row. The Raptors (20-32) have won three of four games with the hard-working Davis in the lineup and are feeling pretty good about themselves.

"Right now, we're winning games and that's all I care about," Davis, 37, said. "New York (the second worst team in the league), they have their own issues. They don't need anybody to add anything to it. I always feel kind of funny going back to the teams I used to play for. I don't think I played there long enough for anybody to like me or dislike me."

But in less than one season in New York after he was traded from his home-town Chicago Bulls, Davis did make headlines, earning a five-game suspension when he went into the crowd to take a closer glance at a fan who he felt was a potential threat to his wife Kendra.

While the Knicks have far bigger issues to worry about than Davis' return, he has added a bit of fuel to the fire. He told the New York Times after the trade that he felt coach Larry Brown and general manager Isiah Thomas needed to get on the same page. Even Brown, a long-time supporter of Davis and vice-versa, seemed to draw criticism from Davis this week for his handling of young players.

"With an older guy, when you break him down, you build him back up and he's going to come back at you," Davis said. "He's going to have that experience that says 'I've just got to keep going. I know I'm going to get better.' For a young guy, they tend to shut it down and get confused. And I think that's what going on."

The transition to coaching the young and inexperienced Knicks from the championship-calibre Detroit Pistons has been challenging for Brown, Davis feels.

"The way Larry is, he wants everything done right," Davis said. "I don't think Larry has had the opportunity to coach a young team where you have to really go into basics, pick and roll, roll with the ball, how to box him out and rotate. I know it's tough for him. But he's just going to have to break down and just teach."


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