You can check out SBN’s entire New York Knicks preview here, but here’s one of their points I found most intriguing:
After being controversially drafted 6th last season, Gallinari promptly injured his back and became something of a punchline. Well, (knock on wood) Gallo’s back is healthy, and he looks ready to warrant his high selection. The kid is lights-out from downtown, with far more handles than a man his size should have and a bit of an edge as well. Danilo hustles, takes the big shots, and won’t back down on defense. He impregnates nearby women with just a flick of his wrist. He flosses twice daily. He heals with his hands and turns water into Chianti. Who is Danilo Gallinari? He’s the next big name in New York basketball. Thanks for asking.
And they might have a point, over there a Posting and Toasting. Anyone who’d written him off as last season’s disappointing debut might want to pause and soak in the some of the superlatives emerging from Knicks camp. From Howard Beck of the New York Times:
“…watching a healthy, energetic Gallinari run the floor and make plays underlined what D’Antoni, the Knicks’ coach, has been saying all along: the kid can play.
"I’m excited," D’Antoni said. "I’ll try to tone it down. But you see that he knows how to play."
The superlatives and expectations keep growing for Gallinari, the sixth overall pick in the 2008 draft. He showed no signs of discomfort in Tuesday’s two practices, or any indication that he had undergone minor back surgery five months ago.
"I just admire his game," said Donnie Walsh, the team’s president. "He looks to get his teammates involved, he can shoot the ball, he can handle the ball and he’s a pretty tough kid."
See, that last quote. That’s what has me convinced. Mike D’Antoni, sure, I could see him resorting to hyperbole here and there when describing his players. But Donnie Walsh? That’s guy been around the NBA block a few times, and he doesn’t seem like the type of guy that offers praise lightly. Danilo Ganillari has always been rumored to have a jaw-dropping array of skills, but now, it seems like more and more, those rumors are being confirmed.
So keep an eye out for “Big Cock" this year... (What?! Click the link! That’s his nickname!)