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.
Mike Bibby had a bit of an edge with reporters Sunday, but he says he’s ready to play whatever role the Knicks need in order to win.
“I’m going to come in and fill the role that needs to be filled, and then go from there,” said Bibby, who agreed to a one-year deal at the veteran’s minimum of $1.4 million. “If that stands for me standing on the sidelines cheering, that’s what I’ve got to do. I’m here to win and play the role that they want me to play — whatever it is.”
Bibby could back up Toney Douglas or another point guard should the Knicks land a J.J. Barea or a Baron Davis. He could also tutor Georgia Tech rookie Iman Shumpert.
“I always wanted to play for Mike D’Antoni and here’s my chance,” Bibby said.
Getting testy with reporters, he dismissed notions that the fans had mixed feelings about his arrival.
“Ever since I came in, people have doubted me,” he said. “I’m going into my 14th year. I don’t care what you guys say. I don’t care what anybody says about me. I’ve always been like that. I’m going to go out and do whatever it takes to help the team win. If that stands for me standing on the sidelines cheering, that’s what I’ve got to do. I’m here to win and play the role that they want me to play — whatever it is.”
Bibby has averaged 15.2 points, 5.7 assists and 1.2 steals on his career, but managed just 3.6 points while shooting 25.8 percent from the field with the Miami Heat during last year’s NBA Finals.
Bibby played for new Knicks assistant Mike Woodson in Atlanta, and Woodson recommended Bibby to the Knicks head man.
“The easy thing was that Mike Woodson coached him in Atlanta, and his first words were, ‘Whatever you need from him, he’ll give you; from the bench, from the starter, from not playing,'” D’Antoni said. “Whatever we ask he would do, and he would do it professionally. That’s a no-brainer.”
Still, Bibby joins a revamped Knicks outfit that includes an impressive front line of Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler.
Now it’s up to the backcourt players to match the frontcourt’s talent, and to get them the ball.
“It’s going to be fun,” Bibby said, “I’m just trying to get them the ball where they need to score and win games.”
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.