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.
‘Sheed Works Out for Knicks, Baron Hired for ‘Multi-Faceted’ Role
The Knicks got a lot older this offseason, but that may not stop them from getting older still before or during training camp.
At the age of 38 and out of the league for the last two seasons, four-time NBA All-Star Rasheed Wallace worked out with the Knicks on Saturday at the MSG Training Center in Greensburgh, N.Y. While no deal is imminent at this point, Wallace is the one showing interest as has he declined offers from several teams this offseason.
“I have not had any official conversation with the Knicks organization,” Wallace’s agent, Bill Strickland, told the New York Times. “If something happens, I will be more of a facilitator rather than an advisor. This decision is totally up to him as to what he will or will not do.”
The news of Wallace working out in Greenburgh was first reported by ESPN’s Ric Bucher.
Should the Knicks decide to offer Wallace a deal, it would very likely be a non-guaranteed deal for the veteran’s minimum of roughly $1.35 million.
As it stands now, the Knicks are set with a roster of 19 players for training camp, which opens on Oct. 2 in Greenburgh.
In his heyday, Wallace was known to bait referees, as evidenced by his NBA record 301 career technical fouls, but he was also one of the best two-way forwards in the game. At a long and rangy 6-foot-11, the former University of North Carolina star and Philadelphia native holds career averages of 14.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
In his last NBA stint with the Boston Celtics during the 2009-10 season, Wallace averaged 9.0 points and 4.1 rebounds over 79 games before retiring.
Wallace won his one and only NBA title in 2004 with the Detroit Pistons. He was traded to Detroit in February of that season and was widely viewed as the piece that helped put the Pistons over the top, helping them defeat the heavily-favored Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals in five games.
There is a connection between Wallace and Knicks head coach Mike Woodson, as the latter was an assistant coach under Larry Brown on that 2004 Pistons team.
“I would like to think that it’s a positive one,” Strickland told the Times of Wallace’s relationship with Woodson. He added, “I have no reason to think otherwise.”
He added of Wallace: “The one thing his teammates from the past say is that he is a great teammate. Players respect him.”
BARON DAVIS HIRED
Free agent point guard Baron Davis is in the middle of rehabbing a gruesome right knee injury suffered in Game 4 against the Miami Heat, which will keep him out for all of the 2012-13 season.
Davis has plans to return, but in the meantime, the 33-year-old Davis will remain with the Knicks this season.
In what is being termed a ‘multi-faceted’ role with the organization, Davis will work with Madison Square Garden’s “Garden of Dreams” Foundation. He is also expected to provide content for MSG’s in-game entertainment and may do some scouting for the team as well.
In his first season with the Knicks last winter, Davis averaged 6.1 points and 4.7 assists in just 29 games. In a lockout-shortened 66-game season, Davis did not debut until Feb. 20 while healing from a herniated disk.
Never fully healthy during the season, Davis fought through back and hamstring issues throughout.
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