The New York Knicks have asked an old friend to come help work with a rookie they hope to turn into a force as they rebuild. Rasheed Wallace is helping the team’s big men, according to a story in the New York Post.
Wallace played for the Knicks in 2012-13 after spending two seasons our of the league, and he has coaching experience after spending a season with the Pistons as an assistant in 2013-14. Wallace was apparently the latest in a series of former players to visit Fizdale and the Knicks and try to develop a young team.
According to Howie Kussoy of the New York Post, Knicks coach David Fizdale said the sessions have gone well thus far.
“I just thought he’d be great to have him come visit with our big guys. He’s a technician from an understanding fundamentals standpoint, understanding the big-man position,” Fizdale said. “I just think he’s a great voice to have in the gym, a nice change of voice. He’s a guy that could help Mitchell understand how to use his voice.
“I’m connecting with a lot of guys from our past to bring as many influences around these guys as we can.”
One player in particular the Knicks wanted to have Wallace help out is rookie big Mitchell Robinson, who seems to have appreciated some guidance from Wallace. According to the story, Fizdale hopes Wallace’s “confidence and ferocity” would potentially rub off on Robinson, who is more on the shy side. Robinson seems impressed so far.
“He was an NBA legend, so actually getting to work with him, it kind of felt great,” said Robinson, who joined the starting lineup in Friday’s loss to Golden State. “He helped me out with pointers on the baseline as in the dunker’s spot, where to flash to, get up on my screen-and-rolls, too.
“He pushed me to talk more on defense. I have a tendency to be a little quiet, and him, he brings it up for me.”
The Post reported that Wallace is expected to stay with the team for a few more sessions and it’s a partnership that helps both sides, as it seems Wallace wants to find his way back into coaching after a few years out of the league. Everything about the Knicks is a work in progress, especially for its young players, but being partially responsible for some improvement in New York would be a good look for Sheed.