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Friday, November 19th, 2010 at 10:45 am  |  36 responses

Danilo Gallinari Doesn’t Want Stardom

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

The myth — constantly pushed by fans and media in and outside of Gotham — is that playing in New York can bring great athletes untold riches, fame and happiness. These are things that most players want, naturally, but it’s not often that you hear an athlete publicly shy away from them.

For the KnicksDanilo Gallinari, despite his burgeoning play of late, the burden of stardom is something he’s not quite ready to face yet, if ever.

Gallo tells the NY Times that despite growing expectations, he’s by no means a star:

On Tuesday night, Gallinari helped spearhead a furious second-half rally in a loss in Denver. On Wednesday, he propelled the Knicks to a victory in Sacramento. He was dynamic, confident, crafty — everything the Knicks hoped he could be when they made him the sixth pick in the 2008 draft.

The expectations have at times been too much to handle. Gallinari has embraced the spotlight, but he is weary of the scrutiny and the questions that accompany every subpar game. This season has had more than its share. So after six breakthrough quarters, in which he looked very much like a potential star, the 22-year-old Gallinari swiftly punctured the notion of his stardom.

“I know you expect a lot from me, and people expect a lot from me,” Gallinari said late Wednesday night, “but I’m not a superstar, I’m not an All-Star, I’m not LeBron, I’m not those great players. I’m an important player of the Knicks. And that’s what I’m trying to do, to help the team every time. Sometimes, can be these type of games, sometimes not. But as long as we win, it’s all good.”

It’s a smart move on his part, a coy attempt to deflate the pressure and keep expectations at a reasonable level.

The reality, however, is that should Gallinari’s strong play continue (coupled with more Knicks victories), he’ll be branded a star whether he likes it or not.

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  • Walo

    This guy is 88th best player in the NBA. BOOK IT

  • JTaylor21

    Maybe stardom doesn’t want you, have you ever thought about that Galli.

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    We don’t believe you. You need more people…Good for Gallo, good to see young cats recognizing their ceilings and embracing roles.

  • MikeC.

    If he keeps going strong to the basket, converting and initiating contact like he has been lately, he’s going to become a star. Maybe not an All-Star for a few years since the forward spots are pretty stacked in the East.

  • Cizzo

    Staying humble and focusung on winning as a team is only he gets the upmost respect and props from me. I like his idealism, not seen in Amrican-born players, who just want the fortune and fame of the game….. Now real love for the game!

  • http://google c_cantrell

    he couldnt have it if he did want it

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    haaaaa, “lets have a toast for the douchebags” c-cantrell and JTaylor, this one Kanye was thinkin bout you…smartly lowring expectations Gallo

  • http://www.slam.com Martey

    Unfortunately, D’Antoni wants him to be a star by any means. It cost Al Harrington his well deserved starting spot last year and Im sure will cost Melo if a trade would be in the works because Gallo is one of the few pieces the Knicks would not trade, even for Melo.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Bet he wants to get paid like a star though. Watch.

  • Valerio

    cosign TrailBlazing

    GALLO WE ARE PROUD OF YOU HERE IN ITALY

  • Marvin B.

    Words that should never go together: Al Harrington Well Deserved Starting Spot.
    There’s more to the nba that putting up numbers, ask AI.

  • DoctorGonzales

    Daje Gallo!

  • JalepinoSausage

    hE’L FIT IN GREAT IN NY THEN

  • Sejackson

    He will ssshhh all the haters. Go Knicks

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    He’s 1 of 2 Knicks playing great.. Since the Tony/Eve/Brent/Erin Barry story isnt a new news story on here anymore, Id like to put my 2 cents here.. Seems they (media) only wanna talk about the divorce, not so much the fact Tony stepped outside of his marriage.. If it was 80% of any other NBA player, his charecter would be killed by national and international media, but because hes Tony Parker, a respected “nice guy” whom plays for the Spurs, a respected family-friendly franchise that very rarely have off-court negativity, they get a pass?? What if Melo or Stephen Jax slept with a teammate’s wife? If I was Brent Barry, Id divorce my wife and kick Tony’s little a$$..

  • ClydeSays

    I don’t know that anyone expected much from him, outside of the Knicks front office, but he’s currently shooting just under 37% from the field. If he doesn’t want stardom, that’s a good way to go about it…

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Cizzo and marvin have no idea what theyre talking about. Harrington played great d on gasol a couple games ago, and again last night. Hes back to his ind all around game. Remember, he was pissed that all nellie wanted him to do is shoot spot up 3s. And gallo will be close to an all star in 2 years.

  • http://www.slam.com Martey

    @Marvin B. Maybe you want to check in on how he’s playing with the Nuggets…

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Wilson Chandler is a star, and Toney Douglas can be one too. But D’Antoni thinks Raymond Felton should be co-captain with the team’s best player, Amare Stoudemire.
    Gallo is nice though.

  • JTaylor21

    The knicks wouldn’t give up Gallo for Melo? WHAT,
    No-D’Antoni has done lost his mind. Melo playing for the Knicks in MSG would be basketball-heaven!

  • The Philosopher

    Peja Stojakovic Jr.

  • http://www.slam.com Martey

    @JTaylor. Mike D’Antoni and Gallo’s dad played together in Italy so he knows Gallo since Gallo was a baby. That’s why he was lobbying for the Knicks to draft him and gassing him up when he’s really just a streaky shooter too weak to play inside, although when he’s on he’s on. D’Antoni was even quoted as saying Gallo is the best shooter he has ever seen. Better than Miller, Bird, Allen. This caused an uproar with the NY Media. The point is that Gallo and D’Antoni are like family and Gallo is untouchable as long as Mike D. is still there.

  • burnt_chicken

    AllenP: who doesn’t want to be paid as much as possible for their job? Shrewdly negotiating a huge contract isn’t a bad thing, it’s an awesome thing (I still see you, Koncak). Welcome to CAPTITALISM, baby. It’s a beautiful thing (sometimes).

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I’m saying that if want to get paid like a star, be prepared to deal with everything that comes along with being a star.
    And if you don’t want to be a “star” then don’t look for a “star’s” contract come negotiating time.

  • The Philosopher

    One can argue that a minimum wage player gets compensated like “a star”, no?
    No harm…

  • Valerio

    @Martey: Gallo is NOT a one dimension player, he doesn’t have just the 3point shoot, is the Knicks game that forces him to do just that. When he’s healty he can run inside or shoot aswell

  • LB

    Sounds like a cop out Gallo..So, what every time he plays horrible he can say, “See..told you I wasn’t that great”???

  • http://jaredmintzisthetruth.blogspot.com Jared

    right, so gallo plays like sh*t because he doesn’t want the stardom. this guys a chump, he’s talented but just doesn’t get the job done. i’d trade him for less than melo. anthony randolph too.

  • http://slamonline.com rudy

    Well, its a good thing that Gallinari isn’t good. Otherwise we would have a problem.

  • Jose

    “but i’m not a superstart, not an all star, i’m not LeBron” you see how he ordered those.lol..thats a shot at LBJ man

  • rich

    lmfao^^^ im not a superstar im not an all star, im not a scrub, im not lebron, im not an 11 year old girl, im not chris bosh

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/media/slam-tv/2010/08/video-michael-jordans-love-of-the-game/ notblack

    @JOse you noticed to! BTW the only reason this guy says this is because knicks fan are hardcore [after all they are fans of knicks] therefore within NY he would be idolized and stALKEDD Aand sht. Hes being smart dont hate try to not be a D-bag [ahem* Jtalor] try to think of this from his shoes.

  • JalepinoSausage

    Michael Besley – KOBE , youre not a feeline SO DONT BRING THE WEAK STUFF IN HERE ! gO BACK TO being a mediocre shooter on a above average team of chumps.

  • JalepinoSausage

    SWAT !!!!

  • JalepinoSausage

    sorry . got carried away watching last nites kings lakers. by the way LBJ IS KING 4 EVA !!!

  • Kyle

    If he actually decided to work out hard in the offseason, develop something besides 3′s and the occasional layup given to him, cause he’s hitting from deep. Maybe work on grabbing, I don’t know, at least 6 boards a game? Isn’t he 6’10? And develop any kind of game with his back to the basket… he’s a poor man’s Bargnani at this point.

    And this hurts him as trade bait(almost as much as his play this season.)

    Like Jared said, he’s talented, but something is missing.

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