Even with moving the location of the NBA Draft from New York City to Newark, NJ, the New York Knicks managed the same result — a collective WTF from Knicks fans in attendance and elsewhere. Heading into the draft, fans hoped the Knicks would select a defensive minded player like Kenneth Faried, Chris Singleton, or a big man like Nikola Vucevic.
My hope was that the Knicks would announce that Mike D’Antoni was released from his coaching duties. For the longest, I’ve waxed poetic about not caring who the Knicks drafted because we still aren’t going to be ish with Mike D’Antoni coaching this team. And I stick by this statement. And since the draft was weak to begin with, I wasn’t that optimistic about the Knicks chances of scoring too well with our 17th pick.
But, even when the Knicks were on the clock, fans were hopeful that New Jersey native Kenneth Faried or Chris Singleton, who were still available, would be our guy, especially after Nikola Vucevic a 7’0 center from USC was removed from the board by the 76ers with their 16th pick.
Instead, we ended up with Iman Shumpert, a point guard from Georgia Tech. Certainly a surprising pick, to say the least. Early reports stated that he wasn’t much of a shooter, but his workout with the Knicks proved otherwise. Also, he’s a strong defender, something the Knicks need considering Chauncey Billups is on the decline and Toney Douglas is more of a combo guard. In no way does this mean we shouldn’t pursue Chris Paul, but he’ll give our bench some depth and his size will allow him to also D-up two guards. Last season the 6’6 guard averaged 17.3 ppg and 5.9 rpg. Not bad.
But, because Shumpert, who wasn’t projected to go until the second round, is unknown, fans were immediately unaware of the upside of his game. When the camera panned to Knicks superfan Spike Lee, even he couldn’t resist hiding his confusion over the pick. And you already know the Knicks fans present at the Prudential Center responded with a chorus of boos.
And what were the reactions from Shumpert’s new teammates? Mixed.
Amar’e Stoudemire immediately welcomed Shumpert to the team and tweeted:
Gr8 Pick. Welcome to the team Iman Shumpert. Can’t wait to get started to become a better Defensive team. Let’s go. #ChrisBrownVoice
— Amar’e Stoudemire (@Amareisreal) June 24, 2011
Landry Fields (or Carl Landy according to ESPN’s Heather Cox, smh) also kept it PC and simply tweeted:
But, the most controversial tweets came from Carmelo Anthony who later realized the vibe he gave off and made an effort to clean it up. Here’s his succession of tweets.
Once the Knicks were on the clock, Melo tweeted:
Immediately after Shumpert was announced as our newest Knick, Carmelo then tweeted:
Minutes later, he returned to twitter and tweeted the following. Start from the bottom and work your way up.
LOL, nice try Melo.
Meanwhile, back at the crib, I merely sighed and resumed my Game of Thrones marathon. I wasn’t fazed one way or the other.
The Knicks also managed to buy a 2nd round pick from the New Orleans Hornets. With the 45th pick, Donnie Walsh selected 6’10 275 lb. center Josh Harrellson from Kentucky.
With Walsh having one foot out the door, and the impending lockout upon us, it remains to be seen how these picks will pan out.
Be patient Knicks fans, it’s going to be a long summer and an even looonger winter.