Donnie Walsh announced today that Shawne Williams has been invited to Knicks Training Camp. Adding Williams means the Knicks will enter camp with 16 players, one over the league maximum. If Williams is going to have a shot at making the roster, he will more than likely have to outplay Patrick Ewing Jr., whose contract is reportedly only partially guaranteed.
Ewing Jr. has been busy since rejoining the Knicks (he has been in camp with them before), building rapport with his teammates and making his presence already felt within the community. The son of the greatest player ever to don orange and blue, Ewing Jr. is no stranger to Knicks fans.
Williams, however, is a former draft pick of the Pacers (he was selected 17th overall in 2006). His young career has encountered some major turbulence after some not so smart decisions off the court. He has since found himself out of the league.
While Williams may not have been Walsh’s direct pick (Larry Bird was reportedly behind the choice), Walsh has been open to giving former Pacers a chance on the Knicks before.
Last season, Walsh brought another one of the Pacers’ draft busts, Jonathan Bender, to New York for a second chance. Bender, who battled back from a career-threatening knee injury, played in 25 contests for the Knicks, but will not be back this season.
Instead, it’s time for Williams’ opportunity at redemption.
Williams is faced with the obstacle of actually making the roster. At least he can now be relieved to be teaming up (while it may only be temporarily) with Amar’e Stoudemire, after being on the other side of this thunderous Amar’e slam!