Under the Radar

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Ronnie Brewer Junior was a low key signing for the New York Knicks this off-season, but a HUGE piece of the puzzle towards the ultimate goal. Winning isn’t a hope, but a necessity at this stage. Ronnie will be a far larger piece than people recognize and we will tell you why.

Ronnie Brewer Jr. born in Portland, Oregon in 1985, attended the University of Arkansas and was selected 14th overall by the Utah Jazz. He is listed at 6’ 7” 227lbs. He is a SG/SF and has very good defensive skills. He played 4 years in Utah and eventually took over the starting SG position. In his second and third years, he averaged double figures, however in his 4th year he declined in health due to injuries and only played in only 53 games.

He was traded to Memphis in the 2010 season for the stretch run for the playoffs, but Ronnie had a hamstring injury that limited his playing time and eventually parked him on the Memphis bench. He only played in 5 games with Memphis and became a free agent at the end of the year.

Brewer signed with the Bulls in the summer of 2010 and was a key bench player backing up SG/SF positions. His defensive intensity and his size made him a favorite amongst Head Coach Tom Thibodeau who  preached defense at all costs. He became the perfect bench player averaging 22 minutes a game and using his defense to disrupt opposing teams’ stars. For financial reasons, Chicago declined his option in the summer of 2012 making the defensive player a free agent.

Ronnie Brewer and the New York Knicks were on a collision course with each other and neither had any inclination. New York was making their off-season moves and Ronnie was looking for the right team and trying to get the most money. At this point the Knicks were almost done and were only left with the veterans minimum openings. Names were popping and Ronnie was NOT one of them. Why? We all believed that Ronnie wouldn’t sign for the vet’s min and was out of our price range.

Word came down from the rumor mill that Ronnie Brewer was considering the Knicks. This was a surprise to most fans, but not the ones that knew Ronnie. Brewer was more interested in winning and contributing to a team on the rise and ready to compete for a title. Is money important to all? Of course it is, but it was refreshing to hear it was not the defining factor. If New York could sign Ronnie Brewer JR, it would be a tremendous steal on the free agent market.

On July 25th, Ronnie signed with New York for the vet’s minimum. He was quoted as saying; “New York Knicks let’s get it!!” The signing of Brew was a coup of sorts in the NBA world. He is worth more than his salary and can fill the hole left by Iman Shumpert who is recovering from a horrible knee injury from last year’s playoff. The signing also lets Mike Woodson put JR Smith in the comfortable surroundings of the 6th man. Kurt Thomas in his second tour with New York had these fine words to say about Ronnie.

He is a tremendous wing defender and offensively he simply knows how to play – moving w/o the ball, slashing to the basket. His outside shooting has improved and will continue to, and he is an excellent passer and underrated ball handler”.

In conclusion, the match of Brew and the Knicks could be a match made in heaven. Ronnie will not become the next MJ, but he can hit the open jumper and give you; Defense; Defense; Defense. This is what Woody needs, and this is what Ronnie brings. Kudos to the Knicks Brass and Ronnie Brewer for making this union come together. It is now up to the coaching staff to put Ronnie in the right position to succeed. I believe Ronnie will and should be the starting SG until Shump eases his way back into playing shape. Having Ronnie gives the team a defensive edge we would not have had if JR was the starter. Ronnie can play multiple positions and I am sure we will see him at the Small Forward position at some points during the season. Be happy, be glad NY, we got a solid player in Ronnie Brewer; you will appreciate him in action. He will bring the defensive energy this team needs and a solid contributor to the NY Knicks.

Peter A. Knickswag Chief Editor

 

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