It seems for now that the Earl Barron-New York love affair is over. Barron participated in a short second stint with the New York Knicks last season, and once again, the two teams flirted in the offseason, with rumors surfacing as recently as last week that the Knicks were indeed interested in bringing him aboard. However, given the Knicks’ two recent training camp invites — Ike Diogu and Cole Aldrich — it seemed unlikely that the Knicks would continue to look at more big men.
Perhaps, with this in mind, Barron went ahead and signed with a Chinese team, Qingdao DoubleStar, according to HoopsHype.
Barron is the gold standard of NBA journeymen. He’s a legitimate seven-footer, good enough to do basic things like score around the basket and rebound, but somewhat invisible and too inconsistent to make a regular impact. He’s spent seven years in the league (he’s 32 now) and has played on seven teams. In 2010-11, he played with three different teams in the same season; last year, he played with the Knicks and Washington Wizards, but only for a total of 12 games between both clubs.
Barron will remain an enigma in Knicks history. Between his two stints with the Knicks, combined, in eight games, he averaged 11.3 points and 14.5 rebounds in 35 minutes per game — borderline All-Star center stats. However, these random breakout games came towards the end of two Knicks seasons in which their destinations were secure (the lottery in 2010, the playoffs in 2013). His stats elsewhere have been unremarkable, but something about the Garden brings out the best in Barron.
A portion of Knicks fans have clamored for Barron to rejoin the squad, but it’s time to move on. Aldrich is a young, intriguing camp invite, and the Knicks have plenty of front-court depth, even if they still do lack a true back-up center.
But we’ll never forget your eight games, Earl Barron. Enjoy China, sir.
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