On Wednesday July 11, 2012, the New York Knicks signed Argentinian point guard Pablo Prigioni. It was a one-year deal for the league minimum salary. Prigioni is definitely not a household name here in the United States. So here is a quick look at the Knicks' latest addition.
Prigioni is a 35-year old professional basketball player from Argentina. He stands at 6' 3" and weighs 200 lbs., similar in stature to Jeremy Lin. Prigioni is known as the best point guard in Argentina.
He started his pro career in 1995 with Ramallo of the Argentine League. In 1999, he joined Fuenlabrada of the Spanish League. Prigioni played in the Spanish League until joining the Knicks. In the 2011-2012 regular season with Caja Laboral, Prigioni ranked first in steals, third in assists-turnover ratio and seventh in assists.
Prigioni brings experience and leadership to the Knicks. With fewer games in the Spanish League, each one has playoff intensity. It will be interesting to see how the 35-year-old rookie handles the pressures of playing in the NBA.
Here's a highlight reel of Prigioni doing his thing in the Spanish League: [video: Pablo Prigioni - The Maestro]. He can clearly pass the ball. And here's a video of his most recent season with Caja Laboral: [video: Pablo Prigioni 2012 mix]. Apparently, he can score too.
In 2008, Prigioni won the bronze medal as the starting point guard for Argentina. That team included NBA players Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola and Andres Nocioni.
So where will Prigioni fit on the Knicks? He will be behind Lin (when the Knicks match his offer) and Jason Kidd for sure. But that's a good place to be for the NBA first-timer. The Knicks will not expect a lot from Prigioni, but I'm guessing that he will expect a lot from himself. Like Lin and Kidd, Prigioni will have plenty of targets for his passes. And the pass-first point guard will certainly find them.
I'm excited to see Prigioni play for the Knicks. He was a dazzling point guard in the Spanish League. Now we'll see if he can dazzle fans in the NBA. If not, the Knicks only paid the league minimum to sign him. They can easily part ways with Prigioni at the end of the season.
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Edwin Torres was born in New York City. He has been a Knicks fan since the early 1980s. He has visited Madison Square Garden on many occasions to watch the Knicks and his favorite player, Patrick Ewing. For more articles, follow him on Twitter @FlipPoker.