By Jared Zwerling | ESPNNewYork.com
NEW YORK -- Tyson Chandler knows what it's like to be a part of a great team. He won a championship with the Mavericks in 2011.
That's why he wanted to help organize, along with the Knicks' two other key veterans -- Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire -- the team's "pre-training camp," which starts on Monday and includes most of the players. He told a small group of reporters at the new Knicks jersey unveiling on Thursday that's what great teams need to do.
"I'm proud of the guys for being willing to come back early and come together to bond as a team," Chandler said. "It's a sign of maturity and that guys are willing to give up a month of their summer and come back and train and get to know one another. I think it's only going to help us down the road."
In addition to cherishing his potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play with the Olympic team, Chandler enjoyed getting to know Anthony, his American teammate. He said the developed relationship will help the team come together even more during training camp.
"I think it was a great opportunity for me and Carmelo to be on a team like that and share some time off court," he said. "Last year when I came, it was so quick and the season went fast. You didn't have the opportunity to really necessarily bond with the players off the court as much as you would like to. So being able to spend that time with Melo and Amare now, and then having a regular season to be able to now join forces, is good."
The "pre-training camp," which will consist of basketball and conditioning skills work, will take place at the Knicks' training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y., and will continue all the way through Oct. 1, when the Knicks must report for media day.
I remember the Spurs did it last year. The Lakers should organize a pre-training camp too.