Jones takes time from fight training to work out with Knicks

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Roy Jones Jr. believes he is proof that the New York Knicks can recover from getting beat up.

"Look at me. My last three years was really, after I beat John Ruiz, it just went downhill for a minute," Jones said Friday. "That happens. But the true professionals come back through that. If you're a true professional you can battle back through that. That's when you find out what they're made of."

Jones took time from training for his Jan. 19 bout against Felix Trinidad at Madison Square Garden to join the Knicks for workouts at their training center.

"Shot was a little suspect, but nobody got close enough to him," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. "I don't think anybody wanted to challenge him for fear that he may punch him."

Jones has plenty of basketball experience having played in the USBL for the Jacksonville Barracudas. Following a game on June 15, 1996, he scored a technical knockout of Eric Lucas to defend his IBF super middleweight title later that night.

He showed his hardwood skills while going through some drills with the Knicks.

Thomas said it's always good to have someone from another sport come in to bring a different perspective. Asked what advice Jones had for the Knicks, Thomas said: "Hit the other guy before he hits you."

Jones said he offered more than that, reminding the last-place Knicks that his own tough times during losses to Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson prove that they can bounce back.

Jones wore a No. 4 practice jersey, which he said had special meaning.

"Tito must go in four," he said in reference to Trinidad.