Any chance Rubio starts his career [as] a Knick?
David Thorpe (12:41 PM)
David Thorpe (12:42 PM)
Yes. I'm saying there's a chance.
Being a glutton for both punishment and hoops and frequently seeking out the intersection of the two (read: frequently/compulsively watching the Knicks), I stopped by David Thorpe's chat over at ESPN.com. The Thorpedo is a trainer, analyst, scout and lover of movie quotes. He's trained Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and even players who aren't under contract for the Chicago Bulls. He fielded a few Knicks related queries this afternoon and, for once, the answers weren't totally depressing. As you can see, he told "Ben" that we've got a chance to acquire Rubio from the Timberwolves by way of Barcelona.
I'd hope that Knicks GM Donnie Walsh has operatives strolling La Rambla wearing Oakley jerseys, pumping the 1994 rendition of "Go NY Go NY Go" on their over-the-shoulder boombox, and lamenting how much they'd rather be on Seventh Avenue. That's probably happening, though, so nothing to worry about there.
Covert psychological ploys aside, Walsh hopefully is keeping in touch (by way of underlings) with sportswriter-turned-General Manager David Kahn about the No. 5 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft who has yet to don a T-Wolves uniform. Following draft day, Rubio flirted with Minnesota but ultimately signed a multi-year pact with Barcelona, who bought out his previous contract. He cited the Wolves' inability (thanks to the NBA's collective bargaining agreement) to pick up his buyout and his desire to fine tune his game close to home as reasons for staying in Spain. Everyone else cited his displeasure with being drafted by a team that hails from Minneapolis.
I still hold a glimmer of hope, flickering in the dark recesses of my soul, that the Knicks can somehow find a way to bring Rubio aboard before the start of next season. It's obviously all up to Kahn, who probably will gauge any prospective deal based on its on-court merits as well as its public relations implications. Such a move is the stroke of luck (or creative GMing) that this franchise needs before July 2010 arrives and the free-agent wooing period opens. Even though everyone hates on the Knicks' roster, a top-flight (even a second-flight) point guard puts this team into a very enviable position going forward. And, a youthful European point on the same team as Danilo Gallinari would give the Knicks the most internationally relevant team in the Association. Just the sort of thing that would likely appeal to the sort of fellow with aspirations of becoming a "global icon."
Is Gallo and Lee a strong supporting cast for LBJ to come, or do they really need a 2nd max FA?
David Thorpe (12:26 PM)
Actually, if those two keep developing, they may not need a max guy, but they will need better overall players at 1 and 2.
This response marked two times in an hour that Thorpe provided very qualified but not altogether deflating answers to Knicks-related questions. And, I'll take it.