“I like New Jersey and New York. I like those two places,” the Italian forward said matter-of-factly after his one-hour, one-man workout with the Nets yesterday in East Rutherford. “Now I will work out for New Jersey and New York (today), then I don’t know (about) other teams.”
The reason being? He has all the leverage a teenager needs, in the form of a very lucrative multiyear offer from his team in Milan, so he doesn’t have to play in the NBA at all.
And so we have a nice synergy between the blogger at Slam Online, backing the writer at Star-Ledger, in assuming this is some sort of slight at the rest of the US.Certainly that is possible. Hey, maybe Danilo Gallinari, like Yi Jianlian and his handlers last year, wants to push to be in a city where he will be more comfortable. Certainly the Italian food in NJ, and NYC, is far better than the Italian food in the rest of the US (exception: Providence, supposedly. Oh, and New Haven has really good pizza). But is that really what Danilo Gallinari was saying here?
Read that quote again:
“Now I will work out for New Jersey and New York (today), then I don’t know (about) other teams.”Now, keeping in mind that English is not Danilo's first language, doesn't it seem possible... more likely, even... that what Danilo meant is that he doesn't know when he will be working out for other teams? As in, "Hey, I don't know my schedule". It seems that way to me. Especially since, well, I'll bet big money that Danilo will work out for other teams in the upcoming weeks.
I think what here we have a local beat writer for the Nets trying to make it seem like the Nets, with pick #21, are somehow in play for a top-7 talent. And the way the media works nowadays, one big blogger (soon to be followed by other bloggers wanting an easy post) follows the lead blindly, without giving much thought to the context of the quote, or motivation of the original writer.
Next thing you know, there will be a discussion on ESPN about Danilo as the next Yi Jianlian (or Steve Francis, or Kobe Bryant), a draft pick with the balls or hubris or ego to demand a trade if they don't like where they were picked. And yes, there will be a discussion of the Milan contract offer as leverage, and whether the NBA is going to have to deal with this competition from Europe in the future. And the reality is this: Danilo played for Milan for the past three seasons. If he wanted to stay in Europe, he didn't need to declare for the draft, period.
This is the second straight season the likely top foreign draft pick (a tall SF, ironically) has been rumored to be a prima donna, demanding the location of his choice. Yet as we saw last year, Yi Jianlian "settled" for Milwaukee with minor arm-twisting. Perhaps the beat writers should focus more on actually trying to give us insight into Gallinari's game... will he be able to adjust to the NBA or not?...
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