Friday, May 24, 2013
Prigioni eyes return, but 'open' to options
By Jared Zwerling
When Pablo Prigioni became the Knicks' starting point guard on March 18, after the team lost four straight games, the team went on a 13-game winning streak. It was the best start for any rookie guard in NBA history, outdoing Danny Ainge who won 12 in a row with the Celtics in 1982.
While Prigioni and the Knicks are interested in teaming up together again to continue that kind of success, the Argentine will do his homework before potentially re-signing. He has other initial interest in the NBA and abroad, and he'll weigh those different offers come free agency.
In a conversation with ESPNNewYork.com, Prigioni discussed his future, reflected on his first NBA season and shared some of his summer plans.
Would you like to return to the Knicks?
"Of course I would like to return. I really enjoyed this year. It was a great experience for me and my family. My first option is to play in NBA, but I'm open to hearing and watching my options. We will see."
As you're deciding where to play next season, what will be the most important factors for you and your family?
"The most important things for me to decide where I want to play is I feel that I can play and help the team, to feel that the team really wants me. On this professional level, the place where you go is always nice, and the people always take care of you and your family."
How would you describe how your first season in the NBA went for you?
"It was much better than I could imagine. The first part of the season I used to learn everything about the league, my teammates, the NBA game, to adjust to the country, improve my English. I still speak terrible [laughs]. Also, to help my family and to discover the way how to play and help the team. And in the second part, I started to feel much better -- my family, too. I had more confidence in my game and we really enjoyed the last part of the season together."
What were your easiest adjustments, on and off the court, and biggest challenges?
"I think the easiest was to adjust to the NBA schedule and trips -- playing three or four games a week. And the biggest challenges were to try to put myself in position to help the team, and show the coaching staff and my teammates that they can count on me in one minute or 20 minutes, and that I always will play 100 percent -- no matter what."
What do you think you guys were missing against the Pacers?
"I think the small details decided the playoffs, but we tried everything to win games. We lost home-court advantage in the first game of the series, and we couldn't get a win in Indianapolis to bring home-court advantage back. Indiana played really well."
Will you spend your summer in Alicante, Spain, where you have a home?
"I will mix my time between Argentina and Spain. That is the idea. I will rest a couple weeks and then start to work to come back stronger next year."
How do you usually train in the offseason, and will you play with the Argentine national team?
"I used to run in the park near my house and work my body. I always play in the summer with the Argentina national team, but I haven't decided if I will do that this year."
Is there anything new this summer that you would like to try for the first time?
"I will have a basketball benefit camp in my town in Argentina to help the basketball schools and the young kids. It's a first time I will do this in my town, and I'm so excited to be there."