D'Antoni hyperbolic on Russian center Mozgov

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Remember a year ago when Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni called Danilo Gallinari the greatest shooter he had ever seen?

Pretty strong words, and D'Antoni later regretted heaping that level of praise on the Italian youngster.

Well, we have a new D'Antoni-ism to go into the 2010-11 season with. It concerns Timofey Mozgov, the incoming 7-foot-1 rookie center from Russia who has been practicing with the Knicks informally over the past several days.

"Have to see how he adapts to the NBA game, but at 7-1, 270 pounds, he's maybe our most athletic guy, that runs, that’s a great guy, that has great hands and knows how to play," D'Antoni said. "(Watching him) I’m like, 'Yeah, what am I missing?' So I’m happy with him and excited about the possibility. We have a lot of guys we should be excited about the possibilities."

Excited? OK.

But "most athletic guy?"

I wonder what dunkmeister Bill Walker will have to say about that. As you can see here, he's never been shy about speaking his mind.

You can read more of what D'Antoni and team president Donnie Walsh said about the new-look Knicks, and the difficulties they must overcome to put together a suitable trade package for Carmelo Anthony, by clicking here to read a column I wrote today for the ESPNNewYork site.