Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Coming Home Knicks, Bruises from Last Season Haunt Bonner NBA at Kiel

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Coming Home Knicks, Bruises from Last Season Haunt Bonner NBA at Kiel

Article excerpt

It was 1:30 in the morning, and Anthony Bonner couldn't sleep. So he turned on the television.

What he saw might have given him nightmares.

"It was Game 3 of the NBA finals," the New York Knicks forward said of the late-night replay. "I felt hollow and hard inside."

The Knicks lost that game, 93-89 to Houston, and went on to lose the series in seven games.

"You hurt so much," Bonner recalled. "It was so hard, partly because (we) were so close but also because we'd worked so hard.

"There are constant reminders. You can't help but think about it."

Hard as it was, that late-night replay was an exhortation.

"You don't want to experience that again," Bonner said as the Knicks prepared for a preseason game against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. "It was motivating."

On Friday night, the Knicks (5-2 in exhibition games) will play a National Basketball Association preseason game against the Washington Bullets (1-4) at Kiel Center.

It won't be a meaningless exhibition game to Bonner.

This is home, and his family and friends will be on hand. Many of his fans, who watched the self-made Bonner chisel his skills at Vashon High and later at St. Louis University, will want to see him as a pro. Bonner has worked hard to have a solid NBA career, first in Sacramento and now the Knicks.

In the summer, Bonner spends a lot of time in St. Louis, working with his River City Basketball League.

Bonner is proud of his roots. "To have an opportunity to come home again is a blessing," he said. "This is the second time as a professional that I have come back."

Now in his fifth NBA season, Bonner played here on Oct. 27, 1992, when the Los Angeles Lakers and former Missouri star Anthony Peeler beat the Sacramento Kings and Bonner 119-102 at The Arena.

"Hopefully, this time we can win," Bonner said. "This is a little bit more special than when I came back as a King. …

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