Let’s get right to the point…the Knicks made a mistake in not giving Corey Brewer a chance. A couple of weeks ago, in analyzing the Carmelo Anthony trade, I stated that Brewer was a vastly underrated aspect to the trade. I thought his energy, athleticism, and defensive ability would fit great coming off of the bench for the ‘Bockers. I stand by that assessment despite Brewer’s obviously limited offensive game.
Once news broke that Brewer would not be a part of the rotation and that the Knicks were working on buying out his contract, I assumed that we would soon here some valid reason. I thought that maybe Brewer had said point-blank that he didn’t want to play in NY. I thought maybe there was some kind of attitude problem that hadn’t yet been publicized.
The truth…Mike D’antoni just didn’t want to play him. Didn’t like his game. Didn’t think he fit. Wasn’t willing to take anyone out of the rotation in order to give Brewer playing time. This is evidence of both D’antoni’s stubbornness and his inability to judge talent. Basically, the choice D’antoni made was Bill Walker/Roger Mason over Corey Brewer. Any casual fan, let alone NBA executive, who has seen these three guys play can tell you who is the best of the lot. Who has the most ability. Who can help a team the most.
Brewer is a 6’9″ shooting guard, capable of playing small forward, who has a long wingspan, a great vertical, and, in past seasons, a decent outside shot (he’s been terrible this year but it may be a bit of an aberration). He is also a notorious defensive stopper who plays with a lot of energy. For a team with the type of defensive deficiencies that the Knicks have, seems like a perfect fit, no?
The worst part about this move is that Brewer is now on record saying he would have loved to play for the Knicks and was fired up to do so. In an interview with the New York Post before last nights Knicks-Mavs game in Dallas, Brewer said the following:
“You could tell [I wasn’t going to play], I had been there a week. I didn’t play one game, then was inactive for two games, so I kind of felt it was best to go somewhere else and have a chance to play.
“I would’ve loved to have a chance,” he said. “I felt great coming to New York.”
The Knicks brass really blew this one. No fewer than 8 teams chased Brewer in the days following his release from the Knicks and he ended up landing an affordable three-year deal with the Mavs.
At least Knicks fans can take solace in the fact that Bill Walker’s haphazard facial hair situation may occasionally distract an opposing shooter or two.
-by Max Joice