With only 5 Knicks returning from last year, if you haven’t been keeping track of things this summer, you may wonder where everyone else ended up? Here are some one-line updates and links for those answers:
-Al Harrington signed with the Denver Nuggets.
-Chris Duhon joined the Orlando Magic.
-David Lee was sign-and-traded to the Golden State Warriors. He was trying out for the USA World Championship team but broke his finger and had to withdraw (which is a shame ‘cuz the team is undersized and could’ve used him — plus maybe it would’ve gotten him to focus on his defense more). The man is still the ultimate mensch, returning to New York to attend the funeral of a Knicks security guard (and alas, the only Knick, er, or former Knick, to do so). And how did he spend his first full day in the Bay Area?
[He] visited El Dorado Elementary School, located on a hill above Visitacion Valley in San Francisco. Lee joined the Warriors and the Good Tidings Foundation in an agreement to refurbish the outdoor basketball court at the school, which has one dilapidated hoop and some metal scraps where the other should be standing.
“Part of what you play for is the franchise and your teammates, but you also play for the community and the city you live in,” said Lee, whose local blacktop had metal nets. “What better way to start that off than to do something for the kids of the community?”
[...] “We’ve never had an athlete come in and want to do a community project his first day in the Bay Area,” Good Tidings Foundation executive director Larry Harper said. “For a guy to step foot off a plane and the first thing he is doing is one of these projects, that really says a lot.”
-From a former Knick who did everything right, we now go to… Stephon Marbury. It was reported that he
has agreed to three more years with a Chinese basketball team, whose owners will set up a company to produce and sell his line of athletic apparel and shoes, the team said Thursday.
But let’s not just dump on him, because apparently:
The point guard was a fan favorite in the rustbelt city of Taiyuan, showing none of the defiant personality that had alienated management, teammates and fans in the United States.
Also, clearly he’s playing for the love of the game, not the money. In the NBA, with all the years he’s played, the minimum salary he could’ve made was $1.3 million. But over there:
His salary will be the same as last season, which was never publicly announced, but team owner Wang Xingjiang had said he offered Marbury $100,000 to play half a season in China.
I mean $200,000 is a lot to you or me, but considering how much money he’s made, it’s nothing. He probably makes more through endorsements and investments. Yes, the deal also includes setting up his athletic apparel, but that realm had never been about money with him either, as his goal was to produce affordable shoes (which he did at the staggering low price of $15 for high-tops).
A round up of the rest of last year’s squad:
-Jared Jeffries and Jordan Hill are still on the Rockets. The Rockets were rumored to be shopping Jeffries, and even more bizarrely, the Knicks were rumored to be interested in reacquiring him. Hill played in summer league, and was solid, but unspectacular, still not taking that next step into being an impact player.
-Tracy McGrady, after failed tryouts with the Los Angeles Clippers and Chicago Bulls (where post-workout he already presumptuously started talking as though he was on the team), was finally signed by the Detroit Pistons for the minimum.
-Nate Robinson and Darko Milicic re-upped with the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves. Amazingly Darko got a 4 year/$20 million contract, despite the Twolves actually winning even fewer games after acquiring him.
-Sergio Rodriguez returned to play in Spain.
-Earl Barron, Larry Hughes, Jonathan Bender, JR Giddens and Marcus Landry are all still looking for a job. With 5 of last year’s players still unemployed, another having already left the NBA, and Tmac having only barely getting a job after striking out twice, it’s no wonder that we sucked last year. Basically half of our squad wasn’t even definite NBA-quality. And Darko had planed to return to Europe too (and no team would’ve tried to stop him), but then he and Twolves’ GM David Kaaaaahn fell in love with each other.
I’m thinking that means it’s pretty promising that we’ll be better this year. If only by default.