Monday, October 27, 2008
Ewing Jr. cut, Roberson kept as Knicks finalize roster
By Andrew Marchand
Special to ESPN.com
The New York Knicks reached the mandatory 15-man roster limit Monday at the expense of a Ewing.
Patrick Ewing Jr., who lit up Madison Square Garden in the Knicks' final preseason game Friday, was involved in the team's final roster move as the Knicks chose to keep shooting guard Anthony Roberson and cut Ewing.
Knicks president Donnie Walsh signed Roberson this summer to a one-year guaranteed contract for about $800,000. Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni was a big backer of the signing, even comparing Roberson to Eddie House, whom D'Antoni coached with the Phoenix Suns.
Roberson made only two field goals in 10 attempts in limited minutes in the preseason. Ewing's contract was only partially guaranteed for the league minimum of $430,000, although Walsh said money was not a factor in the Knicks' decision to cut him.
"In the immediate future, shooting could be a problem for this team," Walsh said.
D'Antoni had said the fact that Ewing's father is a Knicks legend could not be ignored, but it wouldn't factor into the decision. Patrick Ewing is a Hall of Fame center and the Knicks' all-time leader in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots and steals.
"I think he's a lot better than what I thought he was, and I think he has a chance to make the NBA," D'Antoni was quoted as saying in Monday's New York Times, before Ewing's release was announced. "I think he's got work to do. Would he help us on the floor this year? I don't know."
On Friday against the Nets, the 6-foot-8 Ewing scored seven points in nine fourth-quarter minutes to lead a near comeback and had the Garden crowd on its feet with two monster dunks.
"You want people who people like," Walsh said. "The bottom line is you have to do what is right for the franchise."
After much speculation this offseason, Stephon Marbury is also still a Knick. However, Marbury is not expected to be in the starting lineup. Chris Duhon will start at the point, with Jamal Crawford at shooting guard.
Andrew Marchand is the managing editor of 1050 ESPN Radio in New York.