Dampier meets with Knicks
August 4, 2004
NEW YORK (AP) -- Free agent center Erick Dampier visited the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a team he said would go farther in the playoffs with him on the roster.
But he's still shopping.
The 6-foot-11 veteran has spent the last seven seasons with Golden State and has talked to a few other NBA clubs the past several weeks.
Dampier met with Knicks coach Lenny Wilkens, toured the practice facility with Madison Square Garden and was expected to meet later Wednesday with general manager Isiah Thomas.
The Knicks lost in the first round of the playoffs last season.
``I think with the addition of me, it would definitely make this team better,'' Dampier said.
Dampier averaged 12 rebounds, fourth in the league, and 12.3 points last season. He has also met with the Atlanta Hawks, and said they put an offer on the table.
``We're talking with a few teams,'' Dampier said. ``At this point I don't really know how this situation is going to pan out. It's been a very interesting situation for me over the last couple of weeks just wondering where I'm going to be.''
Dampier said he may be ready to consider a one-year, mid-level contract.
``You get to a certain point in your life where the money's not a factor and you just want to win,'' he said. ``I'm not getting any younger and I want to be in the playoffs so I have a chance to compete for a championship.''
For the Knicks, the addition of Dampier in the post would give them another big man for the new big man in the conference -- Shaquille O'Neal of the Miami Heat. Dampier said he has had success against O'Neal in the past. The key, he said, is to keep O'Neal from settling in down low.
``I just try to go out and play him hard. Meet him early every time down the floor and not let him get to the position he's most comfortable in,'' Dampier said.