Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Zeke Speaks Up

Looks like former Pacers coach Isiah Thomas is fighting for some cover time on the New York Post and Daily News tomorrow with comments in this story by Marty Burns. He destroys Greg Anthony for his criticism on draft night after Zeke took Renaldo Balkman with the 20th pick in the first round. Balkman has made a good first impression with the skeptical MSG crowd and Zeke apparently has a few barrels full of 'how ya like me now?' stored up so he poured out a little today while talking about the Knicks game last night.

Of course, Anthony was one of a chorus of thousands panning the pick of Balkman. Looking back on the draft, though, it may not have been such a reach after all. Of the next nine picks after Balkman was taken, eight were guards and one was a center in a power forward's body (Josh Boone). The Knicks have plenty of guards, none of whom care much for sharing PT (or the rock for that matter). Continuing down the board there really aren't any compelling picks, considering you're not in the market for a guard, that make you wonder how the Knicks could've taken Balkman when they did.

Zeke has been taking shots from all over each of the five burroughs for a couple of years, so it is no surprise to see this visceral reaction at the first glimmer of hope. If Balkman becomes a high energy, role player and the Knicks start winning out of the gate, get ready for a whole lotta Zeke. At least on the topic of Balkman, he may be right.

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