Monday, December 14th, 2009 at 9:30 am  |  55 responses

Jonathan Bender is a Knick

Yes, Bender’s apparently still alive. And now, Donnie Walsh (who has always loved him) has brought Jonathan to New York: “The Knicks departed Louisiana over the weekend with not only their fifth win in six games, but also with the free-agent forward Jonathan Bender, whose signing was announced Sunday. Bender, a high school star in Mississippi who was the fifth overall pick in the 1999 draft, had his career derailed by debilitating knee injuries. There is no timetable for his return to action. The 7-foot Bender, 28, last played in an N.B.A. game on Nov. 5, 2005. In seven seasons with the Indiana Pacers, he played more than 60 games only once — in 2001-2, when he averaged a career-high 7.4 points and 3.1 rebounds. ‘He can put the ball on the floor,’ the Knicks’ president, Donnie Walsh, said. ‘He used to be able to get to the basket on one dribble from halfcourt. There’s not a whole lot of guys who can do that. I don’t know if he can do that now, but he knows how to play.”’

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  • TC

    sounds like a dumb idea to me…..

  • riggs

    i stopped liking this idea after i read “i dont know if he can do that now” what in f*$@ is wrong with this guy?

  • tmw554

    why him and why now?

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan


  • Hussman25

    ???? Ladies and Gentleman… Your New York Knicks… LMMFAO! Are you serious… This guys been out the L for 4 yrs… Last game action for Bender was 2005! 4 yrs ago! If the knees hold up, then good move; if the knee or knees go again; go back to what u were doing Johnathan. Public Service will def be more gradifying and easier on the knees…

  • Tivon

    I hope he starts…lol I can’t even begin to understand this. Hope he balls out too.*shrug* or not! WHO CARES! THE KNICKS NEED A LOT MORE THAN JONATHAN BENDER! HE WAS EVEN A VIDEO GAME BUST! lets be realistic. lol He better average 20+

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Jeez, stop hating on the guy.
    I think it’s great for Bender to be able to play again. I just hope it’s not a Steve Francis (fail) type appearance.
    Besides, since you already have Jerome James (who?) and Darko getting splinters, might as well try and another big body who can (maybe?) run and help out Lee and whoever else the Knicks have on the front-line.
    What’s the deal with Eddy Curry btw, I haven’t checked a Knicks boxscore since his -9 rating last year. Is he playing? Or still just practicing?

  • Danny W UK

    He used to be able to get to the basket on one dribble from halfcourt? For real?

    I got game too Donnie, if I take one dribble from half court I can shoot from just insied the halfway line. Sign me…..

  • vtrobot

    the Knicks love guys with serious knee problems. these situations never work out.

  • solito

    Why wouldn’t the knicks give a chance to Bender? No risk involved. The investment is justified, if only to have another long body for practices.

  • Eazy Yi

    Darko is heading back to Europe when his contract is up, he could still be a good player… They should really just trade for Bassy, he actually would be good for this team, getting David Lee easy baskets, Al Harrington and The Rooster for drive and kicks, Bassy still has that in him easily. Odd signing none the less

  • tavoris

    I hope he’s gotten past his injuries, because he’s truly an intriguing talent.

    I remember when he first got to Indy, Larry Bird used to rave about how he regularly beat EVERYONE (including Bird & Reggie)on the team in shooting drills.

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    Another reason to hate on the Jordan Hill draft pick. They’d rather sign another big instead of play him.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Don’t him and Al Harrington play the exact same way?

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Jonathan Bender is good people. I’m happy to see him back in the league. Even if it makes absolutely no sense for the Knicks.

  • tavoris

    TADOne-not really. Bender (even in his limited time) knew there was more to basketball than scoring. He defended pretty well & shot CONSIDERABLY better. Al has the advantage of health, but Bender does have court sense that will serve him well even if he can’t run or jump.

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    TADOne – I didn’t know Bender shoots 3′s?

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I’m glad to see Jonathan Bender get second chance to make it in the NBA.
    But if the Knicks just REFUSE to sign GUARDS, then can Mike D’Antoni PLAY TONEY DOUGLAS ALREADY?!

  • tavoris

    @niQ-Bender was being groomed to replace Reggie Miller in Indiana’s lineup. He was-if healthy-supposed to be Kevin Durant.

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    I dream of the day when Bender and Boozer play together.
    I agree that there is no risk to this move but still…why?

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Yeah you’re right good for bender and good for the knicks now we have half a team of 6’10 three point shooters and a BACKUP’s backup running the point. F*ck outta here.

  • tavoris

    u r so right, Bryan.

  • Joe

    I guess Allen Iverson wasn’t retired long enough for Donnie Walsh.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    B you talking to me or Donnie? ‘Cuz I sure didn’t cut Sun Yue and Gabe Pruitt, and I sure didn’t make Ramon Sessions sign with the T-Wolves, and I sure didn’t draft Jordan Hill over Brandon Jennnigs. I also didn’t glue Toney Douglas to the bench.

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    Funny how the Knicks need point guards but never sign point guards. Meanwhile, the T-wolves will only draft point guards. Can’t they do a deal with the T-wolves? I have this weird feeling Rubio will be a Knick soon. Someone tell Donnie that he doesn’t have a chance at John Wall.

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    And yes, please play Toney Douglas. Dude was supposed to be one of the underrated defenders in the draft, but is showing that he can contribute on the offense as well. If you’re not going to play Nate at least play Toney Tones.

  • http://www.euroleagueadventures.com Nick Gibson

    This is wonderful news.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    John Wall is going to look good in a Knicks uniform. Oh wait, they don’t have a 1st round pick!

  • Robb

    Only the Knicks find this move attractive.

  • tavoris

    lol @ TADOne

  • Cizzo

    NO no no no no no!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    I just had a good chuckle at the ‘He used to be able to get to the basket on one dribble from halfcourt….’ line. Priceless… Yes it’s called a travel and whilst Bender was out of the league LeBron perfected it and Monta Ellis can do it with even less dribbles?!?

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Gravity can put the ball on the floor too…

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    they gave up on Jordan Hill already? lol

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    bet took the words right outta my fingers

  • http://slamonline.com Spaceship Jay

    Men with dreads are not good at NBA basketball.

  • ab_40

    JB was a killer in nba live 2005 haha

  • Hoodsnake

    Bender is a nice cat but…dang why are they adding players to tank? They probably want Deron Williams to end up on the Knicks in a twisted way.

  • Jack

    Hey, it’s not a bad signing. He will fit in their system well, as he’s a killer shooter, and it’s not like he’s going to eat away at their cap. He’s a good guy off the court too, anyone remember the write-up about him from a few issues past? Still doesn’t solve their PG problem though, haha.

  • MikeC.

    This is a no-risk move for NY. If his chronic knee pain is a thing of the past(very doubtful, as it’s labeled ‘chronic’ for a reason), he’ll be a good fit. He’s tall, athletic, can handle and shoot and isn’t a total psycho/moron. So, if it works out, then great, if it doesn’t, then Donnie’s just a nice guy that gave a dude another shot to make it. It’s not like they signed him to a max year, max dollar contract.

  • MikeC.

    If Zeke was still running the show, he would have signed Bender to a 60 year, $800 billion contract and proclaimed the rebuilding effort complete.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    If the Knicks use Jonathan Bender as an excuse to trade Al Harrington, I’m done with the franchise.

  • D

    Wow! what is the NBADL for of crap like this keeps happening?

  • http://slamonline.com Krishan

    Who’s there?

    The New York Knicks!

    (Hysterical Laughter)

  • http://slamonline.com Robert

    WoW! can somebody tell me what in the hell is walsh thinking it’s JACK_ASS moves like this that keep the knicks from ever winning a chip. you mean to tell me out of all the damm DL players he had to go get yeh a 7footer who’s been out the league for 4 years with knee issues, now exactly what is going to be benders job stilling minutes, he can’t run the court, automatic to be dunk on. People lets face it the knick franchise is trash, garbage, crap,full of @#^*! it’s no wonder why they ever go deep into the play offs. Somebody somebody please get walse out of the seat and let someone with comman sence give it a try. EWING for President!!!!!!

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    This looks like a no-risk move to me. He can’t make NY any worse. And if he can still play, great for him and possibly for the franchise in the long run if they keep him. On the other hand, he looked out of shape in that last article SLAM did on a him a dozen or so issues back.

  • http://dgcoursereview.com Bro D.

    Wait a tick, is Will Ferrel involved in this somehow? Maybe they can find a way to add Darius Miles and Matt Harpring while they’re at it.

  • Hoodsnake

    Or maybe he is their answer at the point. His draft rap was ‘a big who can handle’ so thats 2 birds with 1 stone

  • dino

    Iverson knicks say no
    T MAC knicks say no
    Bender knicks say YES!
    fu(k Donnie Walsh

  • chintao

    Guys! What are you talking about?!!?!? Following this blockbuster deal, we’re a virtual lock to get the 22 wins we still need to reach our ostensible goal of posting a 30-win season! After that, ALL the big free agents will want to sign with us for the league minimum… and then, D’Antoni, Walsh, and Dolan will wake-up. It’s not Jonathan Bender’s fault that this is a non-move. It seems like D’Antoni is kind of tying Walsh’s hands. Maybe []‘Antoni doesn’t want to lose his excuse for losing so badly and so often. He probably has pushed Walsh to the point where the GM just sitting in his office thinking, “Should I have the Chicken Parm or make an offer to J. Bends today?”

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    Most of the comments here are idiotic. It’s a good pickup plain and simple. Low risk and could have high rewards. They need a point but they also need a big. Bender was an athletic freak with range. He can help with a frontcourt of Al, Lee and Gallo. They don’t use Darko or Eddy. This is good and won’t even affect team chemistry. Jonathan is a quiet, low-key guy who knows how to ball. I miss his lefty slams. Those were awesome!

  • Klemperer

    I’m so happy for Jonathan Bender. I hope it works out and he gets to play as he never could play. His career of injuries has been one of the tragedies of the NBA, considering the obvious talent…Bird’s comments from the day, J. O’neal’s comments, etc. Here’s hoping those knees will hold up and silence everybody.

  • tavoris

    I agree, cb34. Bender’s a good guy that had a bad run of injuries.

  • chintao

    Look, I honestly hope that Bender is back on the path to glory. I have nothing personal against him. My frustration is with an organization that constantly passes on proven, prime talent in order to take low-cost fliers guys that should be career back-ups (if that) and guys that very well might not be in the league next year.

  • tavoris

    look at how well he’s playing…