On Thursday night, Iman Shumpert of Georgia Tech University was made the newest Knick with the 17th overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft. While not one of my “guys” heading into the draft, I have been becoming more and more of a fan each day. With his size and athleticism, he can become a crucial piece to the puzzle as the Knicks look to improve defensively in an Eastern Conference stacked with guards. With extra time in the gym working on his jumper, Shumpert has the tools to become an impact player in the NBA.
Fresh out the draft, Shumpert was introduced to the New York media Saturday, then got right to work at the Knicks practice facility. If you followed his twitter feed, you would have seen Shumpert began touring his new stomping grounds with some friends, in which he had his cartoon drawn by a street vendor as well as making his first stop at MSG. Shown in the picture above, Shumpert was admittedly frozen with awe.
Sunday, the newest Knick celebrated his 21st birthday, sitting court side for the New York Liberty with fellow rookie Josh Harrellson, receiving a warm reception from the hometown crowd. After the game Shumpert made multiple television appearances on the local news, and now has almost 5,000 new followers on Twitter. I think it’s safe to say life is good for the young man.
Shumpert seems very enthused about being in New York and joining his fellow teammates in the Knick revival. While still raw, Iman has loads of potential. In New York unfortunately, there’s not much patience for potential. Shumpert will have to bring it on the defensive end and be able to knock down his open looks early on. In just a few months (barring a lockout), all eyes will be on Iman. Until then, enjoy your moment. Lucky for you, you will have thousands of fans in your corner.