Knicks' James suspended indefinitely for conduct

NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks indefinitely suspended Jerome James on Monday for conduct detrimental to the team, saying the center was unprepared to practice Sunday.

The Knicks said they would not comment further on the suspension, and coach Larry Brown would not address James or his status before the Knicks' game against the Phoenix Suns.

"I'm not commenting on Jerome," Brown said. "He's not on the active list. I'm talking about active players right now."

The 7-foot-1 James, who spent the past four seasons with Seattle, has been a disappointment after signing a five-year, $30 million contract with New York. He has been limited to 14 games because of conditioning and injury issues, averaging 3.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 10.4 minutes.

James was not in the locker room before the game.

Also, the Knicks announced that Anfernee Hardaway has been given permission to leave the team to work out with his own trainers in Houston. The oft-injured Hardaway has appeared in four games while spending much of the season on the inactive list because of knee and leg troubles.

Brown said Hardaway would work out twice a day, with former NBA coach John Lucas in the afternoon and then with his own strength coach.

"We talked and he wasn't getting enough work here," Brown said. "He told me we're playing a lot of games, we've been traveling. He told me he could work out twice a day, and he's done it before and he really felt confident that this would help him.

"I think he feels strongly now he knows what the problem's been. Getting his quads stronger in both legs will help him run, and then working out twice a day will get the conditioning that he wouldn't get if he was here."