With the Heat, Camby was looking at a potential starting job as their center. With the Knicks, Camby knew he wasn’t going to be a starter because they already had Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler at power forward and center, respectively.
Before Camby could sign a contract with the Heat, Mike Woodson, Glen Grunwald and Allan Houston made the trip to visit him at his home. They persuaded him to sign a three-year deal to become Chandler’s backup.
“To be honest, I always prided myself on being a Knick,” Camby said. “I remember all of those rivalries and heated skirmishes (with the Heat) we had back in the day, so I couldn’t see myself being a part of that team.”
The Knicks had good intentions at the time, but a calf injury to Camby during preseason forced the Knicks to find another big to be the first to come off of the bench.
When the Knicks decided to complete a sign-and-trade with the Houston Rockets, they hadn’t yet convinced Rasheed Wallace to sign with the team, but once they did, everything changed for Camby.
Wallace, who is known for his offensive skill set, has a strong player-coach relationship with Woodson from their days as members of the Detroit Pistons.
Camby hasn’t had a chance to play either because he’s not in optimal game shape.
The league scheduled nine games for the Knicks in 13 days. As a result, the Knicks haven’t had a full practice in 17 days and Camby hasn’t been able to get into the condition necessary to play.
Stoudemire’s return from injury will also impact Camby’s playing time in the future, but to what extent, nobody knows. It’s worth noting Stoudemire has said that he is willing to come off of the bench.