Knicks may have circumvented NBA rules
Old 10-26-2010, 02:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Knicks Knicks may have circumvented NBA rules

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For the past four years, the New York Knicks may have circumvented NBA draft rules by conducting secret workouts of collegiate players throughout gymnasiums in suburban Atlanta, Yahoo! Sports has found.

Knicks director of East Coast scouting Rodney Heard coordinated and conducted the sessions, three players who were involved in some of the workouts told Yahoo! Sports – including one May 2007 session that resulted in a devastating knee injury to Kansas All-American Brandon Rush(notes). A tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in Rush’s right knee forced him to withdraw from the 2007 draft and required surgery plus six months of rehabilitation.

In addition to the Rush session – which was an apparent violation of NBA bylaws forbidding teams from working out players before the annual predraft camp – Heard may have broken more rules by conducting predraft workouts with additional players during restricted time periods in 2007 and for excessive sessions in 2009 and 2010.
Quote:
• League sources with knowledge of the workouts said Heard trained forward Wilson Chandler(notes) for multiple weeks before the 2007 predraft camp. The Knicks went on to draft Chandler with the 23rd overall pick that year.

• DePaul’s Dar Tucker said Heard led two-a-day workouts for him and other players for multiple days before the 2009 draft. NBA rules limit teams to two total workouts spaced three days apart.

• Heard also helped oversee multiple workouts in 2010 for a group of players including Baylor’s Ekpe Udoh(notes) and Notre Dame’s Tory Jackson(notes), said Jackson and a college coach who was present at the sessions. The workouts also are an apparent violation of NBA rules limiting the time teams may spend with players before each draft.
Quote:
Reached Monday, Heard denied being involved in any of the workouts. The NBA declined comment through a league spokesman.

Rush, now a member of the Indiana Pacers, said he was injured during a workout with Heard at a gymnasium connected to the one-time home of former NBA player Shareef Abdur-Rahim(notes) in Marietta, Ga. Rush had previously maintained that he sustained the injury in a pick-up game in his hometown of Kansas City, Mo. Multiple NBA executives, who researched Rush for the following draft in 2008, and sources in college basketball, the sneaker industry and those close to Rush and Heard said they were aware the injury happened in a workout with the Knicks.

“It was [during] drill work, doing a three-man weave,” Rush said in a recent interview. “I went up for a dunk, came down and that was it. It was a quick pop in my knee.”

When asked by Yahoo! Sports whether Heard was running the workout, Rush replied: “Yeah.”
Sources: N.Y. scout led improper workouts - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
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