Knicks 'zzone

Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.

Carmelo Anthony won't play Friday

Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks takes a shot against Jordan Hill #27 of the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, December 13 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York.(Photo by Jim McIsaac) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Just got back to the hotel from Sleep Train Arena, which was called something else last season and before last season was long known as Arco Arena

Actually, every highway sign leading to the place still says "Arco Arena."

Whatever. It's amazingly antiquated even though it's only 24 years old. But it's also extremely intimate at just over 17,000 seats, the smallest capacity in the NBA.

It's loud, when the Kings don't stink and fans actually are in the seats.

How tough is it for the Kings to sell tickets? They still let visiting newspaper reporters sit courtside! That is even more old school than the building itself.

Carmelo Anthony will miss his second game with a hyperextended left knee. Both Melo and coach Mike Woodson insisted there is no structural damage, but Woodson said his star forward would be further evaluated upon returning to Big Town.

Neither the coach nor player could promise he'd be ready for Jan. 1 against the Blazers.

Woodson was asked after the morning shootaround about the Nets' firing of Avery Johnson Thursday. Here is what he said:

"Hey, I mean, it’s tough on coaches. I have a great deal of respect for all coaches. I don’t care what level they coach at, what sport it is, it’s not easy coaching. I don’t wish what happened to Avery on anyone, but it happens. He’ll pick up the pieces and land on his feet and eventually someone will give him an opportunity to work. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day.

Are he and Johnson friends?

"Absolutely. I’ve known Avery a long time, but again, it happens. It’s the nature of our business. A lot of times you have no control over it so you just have to keep your head up and keep it moving."

Will he reach out to Johnson?

"Sure, I will. I’ll call him and tell him to hang in there and stay positive and it happens. He’ll be back coaching before you know it."

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