Sometime in January of the New Year, the NY Knicks will welcome back their future. Iman Shumpert, fashion and music extraordinaire, will walk through the new Garden tunnel and will reclaim his starting shooting guard role on the New York Knicks.
Born in Chicago, college ball at G-Tech, Iman grew as a player handling the ball as the primary scorer and learning the point guard position. Even though his natural spot is the shooting guard, he adjusted his game and became a better and more complete player in return.
Drafted by the New York Knicks as a controversial pick, Shump quickly showed NY and the NBA he was for real. His defense and on the ball tenacity was an instant hit in the NBA. He was recognized by his peers as a defensive stalwart.
His devastating knee injury in his first playoff game of his career and the first for the NY Knicks in a long, long time was a major blow to the future of the New York Knicks. Personally, when he went down clutching his knee in pain, my stomach dropped. Losing a playoff game or series was not important to me anymore. I realized the loss of Shump for a long period of time was the first thought in my head and could stunt the growth of the franchise.
Shump’s commitment to rehab and conditioning should be commended. He is right on target to return in January. We all hope Shump will comeback with the same explosion as he had in his rookie campaign. Iman brings another element and level to the Knicks roster that is needed. He probably will take some minutes from Ronnie Brewer and Priggie Small, but also allows the Knicks to rest Jason Kidd during the season for multiple games in a row and other nagging injuries to the team. Being this deep is a positive problem to have on any NBA roster.
The New York Knicks are in position to be contenders for the next 3 years. Iman Shumpert is a large part of what is happening here in NY. Let’s hope he can get back to where he was. His explosion and knee strength is something that will come back in time. We all must be patient and let him ease himself back into what he does best, hard-nosed tenacity and in your face on the ball defense is what he does. Just ask Dwyane Wade.
Peter A. Knickswag Chief