BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, BROOKLYN — The weather in New York has been good lately. A little bit too hot, if you ask Lance Thomas, but good nonetheless.
His summer has been even better.
“Oh my summer’s been good,” Thomas told Elite Sports NY during Spike Lee’s Michael Jackson Block Party in Brooklyn, N.Y. “I got to go fishing a little bit. I’m here in Brooklyn, where I was born. I’ve been enjoying every bit of my summer, but I’m ready to get back and play.”
Thomas signed a four-year, $27.5 million contract to remain with the New York Knicks in July. The versatile forward averaged 8.2 points on 40.4% three-point shooting last season — an area he struggled in before working on it a summer ago.
“I’m still working on that,” Thomas said of his three-point shooting. “I’m working on things that are going to help us win. I’m watching a lot of film this summer because I could have been better last season.
“Elements of winning. I’m watching how I’m moving and how I can move better. I really want to win, and I really want to win here.”
After a disappointing 32-50 season, New York entered “win now” mode. Team president Phil Jackson traded for former league MVP Derrick Rose and signed ex-Bulls center Joakim Noah, starting shooting guard Courtney Lee and reserve point guard Brandon Jennings.
Thomas approves of Jackson’s summer acquisitions.
“We made some power moves. We’ve got some dogs on this roster,” Thomas told Elite Sports NY. “We got some guys who are hungry and who personally feel like they have something to prove. So if we can keep that attitude, make it a collective attitude and we all want the same thing, I don’t see why we [can’t compete].”
Among the Knicks’ additions was former Suns coach Jeff Hornacek. Thomas said he spoke to his new head coach shortly after Hornacek signed his three-year deal this off-season.
“I like him. He wants to win,” he said. “When you’re talking to him, you can tell that he didn’t come here just to get a job. He came here to help us win this season. So I’m on board with that, and I think everyone on the team who has met him already is on board with that. So I’m ready to work.”
RELATED: The Summer Of Melo
New York retained very few of their reserve players this summer. Thomas was one of them. Once a strictly hustle and effort player, the 28-year-old forward’s game has evolved.
Thomas will be Carmelo Anthony‘s back-up next season, a role he split with Derrick Williams last year. New York has missed the playoffs in each of the past three seasons. Thomas is working to end the drought.
“I’ve been grinding, man. I’ve got a lot to prove,” he said. “I got a lot I want to accomplish. I really wanted to come back to New York so I can win in New York. So I’m doing everything in my power to make sure I’m ready to do that.”