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.
Stop the presses.
The Knicks need help on the defensive end.
Specifically, they are in need of a defensive-minded big man to help protect the rim.
“I think the main focus for us is to get better defensively,” Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire told ESPN’s ‘Mike & Mike’ Wednesday. “That’s the ultimate goal for us. So I think we do need a little interior help, but that’s the front office’s decision. They’re going to make a great decision in order to build that championship-caliber team. And as players we have to focus this offseason to understand that defense should be our first priority.”
Asked if the Knicks can win a championship under coach Mike D’Antoni’s speedball system, Stoudemire added: “We can but we have to play defense and that’s the ultimate goal. That’s the challenge for us right now, and we have to be ready to accept the challenge and see if we can become the new Dallas Mavericks next season.”
Jerome Jordan, a 7-foot center who spent last season in Serbia, could be one answer to help shore up the interior defense. The Milwaukee Bucks drafted Jordan at No. 44 last year and dealt him to the Knicks for cash.
“In my conversations, they have high expectations for him,” Jordan’s agent, Todd Ramasar, told The New York Post. “It’s pretty obvious where the Knicks are with players signed in the frontcourt. That plan will carry through [without Donnie Walsh]. Donnie’s staff all share the sentiment.”
Stoudemire said he has spoken with Walsh since Walsh announced he would not return as President after June 30, and that Walsh “felt confident” about the team’s future.
“Which made me feel confident about it also,” Stoudemire said. “He’s going to be a consultant for the next year also.”
Asked if there were any other players he was specifically working on to join the Knicks, Stoudemire cracked: “I’m not sure what Steve Nash is up to nowadays but I know he lives out here in the offseason.”
The Knicks probably won’t add Nash since they already have Chauncey Billups, but they have worked out a slew of point guards, including Jimmer Fredette of BYU, Iman Shumpert of Georgia Tech and Charles Jenkins of Hofstra.
They own the No. 17 pick in the June 23 NBA Draft and could opt to add a backcourt player or go big to help the interior defense as Stoudemire has requested.
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.