Wednesday, May 30
Camby still trying to deal with family crisis
Associated Press

PURCHASE, N.Y. – A downcast Marcus Camby sat slumped in front of a dozen television cameras, shook his head and said he'll try to do his best in Game 2 of the Knicks' playoff series against Toronto.

Troy Crooms
Troy Crooms, right, arrives at Manchester Superior Court to face arraignment Tuesday.
"It's going to be hard for me to focus and be where I need to be in my head, but I have 24 hours. I'm dealing with it," Camby said Wednesday after returning to practice two days after his mother and two sisters were held hostage at their home in Connecticut.

"Being in the house and being surrounded by all the other stuff can wear you down, so I was happy to be able to come out here today and participate in practice. Hopefully I'll have my mind right for the battle tomorrow," Camby said.

The Knicks practiced for two hours and were not as sharp as they were a day earlier, according to coach Jeff Van Gundy, who said Camby will start at center for the Knicks in Game 2 Thursday night.

"He seemed like himself basketball-wise, but I'm sure his mind was somewhere else," teammate Mark Jackson said. "Our job is to let him know we're there for him."

Troy Crooms was charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, burglary and possession of a weapon following Monday's eight-hour standoff at Camby's mother's home.

Authorities said little about a motive but did say the 28-year-old man was known to the family. He is being held on $1.5 million bond.

Crooms allegedly broke into the Camby home sometime before 3:30 a.m. Monday and sexually assaulted one of Camby's sisters. The other sister awoke and called police, who said they found Crooms holding a kitchen knife to the throat of the sister when they arrived.

The captor's only demand was to speak with Camby. The Knicks' center came to the scene about 8 a.m. and stood in the driveway so that those in the house could see him, but he did not speak to Crooms. Crooms surrendered peacefully three hours later.

"I'm just trying to get through this tragic situation. The healing is not going to take place overnight, we expect it to be a long process," Camby said.

With four days between games, Camby's two-day absence from the team did not hinder the Knicks' preparations. His mental state, however, is a concern.

"It was tough these last couple of days," Camby said. "I wasn't even thinking about basketball, I didn't even want to play anymore.

"Don't feel sorry for me, my sister has to go through this for life, so I'm just more hurt for her sake and my mom's sake and my other sister's sake. I'll be fine, I just have to be the backbone of my family."

In Toronto, the Raptors held another practice before traveling to New York.

Coach Lenny Wilkens said he will make some adjustments, one of which is expected to be switching point guard Alvin Williams over to handle the defensive assignment against Allan Houston. Small forward Morris Peterson, a rookie, would presumably be assigned to defend Jackson, a 14-year veteran.

The Knicks picked on Peterson in Game 1, repeatedly running plays for whoever he was guarding. Peterson sat out the fourth quarter of the 92-85 New York victory.

"I don't think that changes our game plan at all," Jackson said. "We still want to attack and be aggressive and get good looks."

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