Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla knows foreign basketball players about as well as anyone. I caught up with Fran at the recent Steve Nash Nike Skills Academy and he spoke very highly of Knicks draft pick Danilo Gallinari, saying Knicks fans have a lot to look forward to.
“The thing about this kid is, first of all, his mental makeup is through the roof,” Fraschilla said. “He’s been around basketball his whole life because of his father. He’s a very tough-minded kid. I was talking to (Knicks scout) Mark Hughes. He played in the NBA and played overseas. We were talking about him and they’re ecstatic about him. He would’ve been a first-team All-American. He would’ve been like Tyler Hansbrough and (Kevin) Love and (O.J.) Mayo.
“I like Eric Gordon and I like (Jerryd) Bayless. This kid at worst will be Detlef Schrempf. You never predict a guard’s going to be a superstar, but he’s going to be a solid, solid player.
“He plays in a league with 25- and 30-year old men and is one of the best young players in Europe. I talked to Casey Shaw(formerly) of the 76ers, he was a teammate of Danilo’s this year. He is Scott Drew’s brother-in-law. He goes, “He’s the best, youngest and most popular guy on our team. I have no doubt that he’s going to be fine.’
“Most importantly, he’s a tough, tough kid. He versatile. He handles the ball well. If the Knicks turn it around the next four years and he’s averaging 16 and 9, he’ll be like Derek Jeter in this town because he’s got such a great personality.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.