Way back in August, when the Carmelo Anthony chitter chatter was, well, as strong as it is now, I identified a potential cause for concern leading into the season:
Donnie put together a good, young, tough squad and now there is a chance that they’ll all be looking over their respective shoulders, pressing and wondering if they should pack their bags for Denver…
And in this preseason of panic it seems that, whether it’s affecting his play or not, Gallinari does worry about being traded. When asked what he feels about the possibility of a trade, he responded:
[Nothing] good. Look, I’m very happy here and I [don't] want to move anywhere else, no other city. I love New York, I love playing on this team, I love the coach and his system, and I also want the people here. I’m in the perfect place where I want to stay long. I do not want to go from here.
In the run up to the draft, it seemed pre-ordained that the Knicks would select Gallinari. The whole thing seemed engineered frankly, and Chad Ford was consistently predicting that Gallinari would wind up with the Knicks or the Nets. It is possible that coming from a cosmopolitan city where he played in a way that suited his style, Gallinari and his people wanted to ensure that he landed somewhere similar, within his comfort zone. But playing in New York is a give and take. For all of the glamor and the high standard of living, there’s a corresponding amount of scrutiny and intrigue.
According to Alan Hahn, Mike D’Antoni has explained to Gallinari that trade rumors “a part of playing in New York.”
I’m sure that on a visceral level, Gallinari understands that. I do worry however, that he may be pressing.
Yet I’ve always looked at Gallinari as someone of mental fortitude. He’s proven in the past that he can rise to the challenge. If my sense of his personality is correct, then hopefully we’ll see Gallinari rise above soon enough.