Not very often do you see a 35-year old rookie in the NBA, but Pablo Prigioni has bucked the trend and has become somewhat of a contributor for the New York Knicks this season.
Prigioni had been plying his trade in Europe before getting scooped up by the Knicks over the summer. He was on display during the Summer Olympics and apparently management liked what they saw.
Having another experienced guy in the fold has been helpful for New York, who also went and made deals with the likes of Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace. Quickly the Knicks have transformed into one of the oldest NBA teams in the league.
That hasn’t hindered results whatsoever though, as the Knicks are rocking it with a 16-5 overall record, putting them in first place, ahead of the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, in the Atlantic Division.
Prigioni, while not playing too many minutes, has hit some big shots and been a part of some crucial plays already this season. He’s averaging 3.1 points and 2.7 assists in only 13.8 minutes per contest, but is shooting a solid 46.0 percent from the floor and 85.7 percent from the free throw line.
One of his standout games came in late November when the Knicks beat Milwaukee 102-88 on the road. Prigioni had 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, hitting two threes, and also chipped in with seven assists, three rebounds and a steal in 28 minutes of work.
With veteran presences like Prigioni accepting their roles on the team, New York has transformed into an elit NBA team. The Knicks can’t seem to stop winning and have won seven of their last eight heading into Thursday night’s crunch encounter with Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
What kind of role will Prigioni will have against L.A? We’ll find out shortly.