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Shandon Anderson drawing Knicks' ire

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — New York Knicks president Isiah Thomas made two things perfectly clear Friday: He can't stand Shandon Anderson, and he can't find a way to get rid of him.

"I've tried to trade him, and I will continue to try to trade him," Thomas said. "If I would have been lucky, it would have happened. But no."

Anderson, an eight-year veteran small forward, will join the team next week when training camp opens in Charleston, S.C.

But Thomas is trying to find a taker for a player owed $24 million over the next three seasons — a very steep price for a player who hasn't averaged more than 8.7 points over the past four seasons.

Anderson and Thomas were not in contact over the summer, Anderson declining to participate in any of the team's offseason conditioning or community service programs.

The two were in the same building Friday, but Thomas said he had not spoken to Anderson — nor did he plan to.

"He doesn't feel it's a good fit for him," said Thomas, who took over as Knicks team president last December. Anderson is one of the few remaining links to former team executive Scott Layden, who drafted Anderson when he was with Utah in 1996.

"It's a new organization, it's a new way of doing things, and either you're going to get on board with the way we're doing things or you can go someplace else where people are doing things the way you like it," Thomas said. "This is the No. 1 city in the world, and we play in the world's greatest arena, and it's an absolute privilege for any player to wear New York across his jersey. When that's taken for granted . . ."

Anderson was angered last season when coach Lenny Wilkens kept him on the bench against the Hawks in late January, ending his streak of 543 consecutive games played. Anderson had purchased several dozen tickets for family and friends at that game in his hometown of Atlanta.

Anderson sat out the following game because of a migraine headache, then refused a request by the Knicks to go on the injured list.

The New York Daily News reported that part of the rift between Thomas and Anderson stemmed from Anderson refusing to acknowledge Thomas when they passed in the hallway outside New York's locker room.

Calls to Anderson's agent, Dan Fegan, were not immediately returned. The Knicks did not make Anderson available to reporters.

Thomas said he was unsure of the source of Anderson's discontent.

"He started (37 games) for us last year, he played a lot of minutes. His minutes were up, his shot attempts were up," Thomas said. "Every player wants the M&Ms — money and minutes — and he had money and he had minutes."

Anderson is behind Tim Thomas on the Knicks' depth chart at small forward. Penny Hardaway and rookie Trevor Ariza also play that position, and newly acquired Jerome Williams could fill in there if necessary.