New York Knicks forward Danilo Gallinaro last season, and for bits of this short season, has shown off incredible outside shooting ability. The rest of his game is still in development, however.
Still, when hot, he can toss in 25 pretty easily if in rhythm and fed the ball while in proper outside position.
But he seems to want to make sure everyone knows that he’s not someone who is going to take over the league anytime soon.
Howard Beck of the New York Times reports:
After six breakthrough quarters, in which he looked very much like a potential star, the 22-year-old Gallinari swiftly punctured the notion of his stardom.
“I know you expect a lot from me, and people expect a lot from me,” Gallinari said late Wednesday night, “but I’m not a superstar, I’m not an All-Star, I’m not LeBron, I’m not those great players. I’m an important player of the Knicks. And that’s what I’m trying to do, to help the team every time. Sometimes, can be these type of games, sometimes not. But as long as we win, it’s all good.”
It was a surprising response, and entirely unsolicited. Gallinari had just posted consecutive 20-point games for the first time this season — 21 in Denver and a season-high 27 in Sacramento — and was simply asked if he needed a performance like this for his confidence.
He could have nodded and offered perfunctory agreement. Instead, he took the question as an opportunity to push back against the outsize expectations that have been thrust upon him since June 2008. Coach Mike D’Antoni once called Gallinari the best shooter he had ever seen. Amar’e Stoudemire has compared Gallinari to Dirk Nowitzki, a perennial All-Star. Nowitzki himself made the comparison last spring, and said that Gallinari was better than he was at the same age.
Remember, English is not Gallinari’s first language. He’s good at it, but still, best not to take things too literally. He’s basically just saying what people know, that he isn’t the next LeBron or Kobe. But hopefully it’s OK for Knick fans to still hope that over the next year or two he emerges into an occasional Dirk Nowitzki.