Larry Johnson says Iman Shumpert is NY Knicks’ future


larry-johnson-knicks-whiteFormer NY Knick Larry Johnson said he sees Iman Shumpert as the future of NY Knicks, ESPN reported.

Johnson, is a current staff member of the NY Knicks. He was a two-time NBA All-Star (1993, 1995) played 10 years in the NBA, 5 of them with the Knicks. He averaged double figures in scoring in 9 of his 10 NBA seasons.

Johnson was named to the NBA All-Star team twice, in 1993 and 1995. He averaged his best 15.5 ppg and 5.7 rpg with NYK in 1997-98. He retired after the 2000-2001 season.

Speaking about Shumpert, Johnson said the team wants Shumpert to get used to playing a bigger role within the team.

“We wanted [Shumpert] to know, ‘You’re our future.’ We wanted him to play a bigger role, [be] a little more vocal and have a little more leadership,” Johnson said in an interview last week.

Shumpert’s entering his third season in the NBA, but this is the first year he will play a full training camp and preseason. He was a rookie during the lockout-shortened season of 2011-12, which featured an abbreviated camp.

Last year, he sat out the first 2 1/2 months of the season while rehabbing his knee after surgery on an anterior cruciate ligament.

As they did last season, the Knicks will rely on Shumpert to defend the best guard/wing on the opposite team. But Johnson said the Knicks staff would like to see Shumpert be a little more assertive on both ends of the floor – especially when he shares it with Carmelo Anthony and other Knicks veterans, such as Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler.

“That young man has so much potential,” Johnson said. “Sometimes when you put him on the floor with Melo, you put him on the floor with those guys, it’s kind of obvious that you can see that he lets those guys be the focus of attention.”

It would help the Knicks greatly if Shumpert emerged as a consistent scorer. They’re constantly in search of dependable secondary and tertiary scoring behind Anthony.

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