Prigioni 'really excited' to return to Knicks
July, 27, 2013
By Jared Zwerling | ESPNNewYork.com
Marcelo Figueras/NBAEPablo Prigioni returned to Argentina for a Basketball Without Borders Americas event.Argentine point guard Pablo Prigioni traveled to his home country this week to participate in the NBA's second Basketball Without Borders Americas event in Buenos Aires. The program, which was first held there in 2005, includes a camp with top youth talent, a Special Olympics clinic and off-the-court outreach work.
While painting a home in a local under-served community on Saturday, Prigioni took a break to speak with ESPNNewYork.com about re-signing with the Knicks, the team outlook for next season and the BWB program.
What are your thoughts on returning to New York?
I'm so excited. It was my first option to try to continue with the team. I think I can give a little bit more to the team now in the second season. I know everything -- the system, I know my teammates, my coach. So I'm really excited. I appreciate how they wanted me, how they treat me, so I'm really happy for me and for my family.
What are your training goals this summer to prepare for next season?
I think I have to continue working on my 3-point shot. This is one of the important things, and keep working on my body because I'm not a big talent physically. I need to work my body every day if I want to compete and fight with some young guys that are stronger, faster.
Did you play against Andrea Bargnani overseas? What will he bring to the Knicks?
I played against them when he was really young. He didn't play a lot. Now, he became a big player and I think he can help us a lot. He can play pick-and-rolls, he can pop, he can roll. I think now he has a great chance to participate on a better team, on a wining team, and try to help us and push us to be better.
With the Nets getting Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, do you expect a bigger rivalry?
Marcelo Figueras/NBAEPablo Prigioni plays defense during a BWB event.
It's going to be interesting. Also, [Jason Kidd] moved to Brooklyn. We are sad because we miss him. I, especially, because I have a great relationship with him. He was one of my favorite players ever, so I'm sad because I would've loved to play one more year with him. But I hope and wish him all the best, just except when they play against us [laughs]. It's going to be interesting because they became stronger more than last year. But I think we are more strong, too, so we will see.
Overall, what are some keys for the Knicks to make a deep playoff run?
It's really good news that we kept most of the guys. So maybe we can use the experience of this year for next. And if the new guys can find a way how to help us and make us stronger, I think we have all the chance to have a great season.
What does it mean to you to participate in your first BWB in your home country?
I'm very excited. I had the opportunity to do it for the first time and in my country, so it's like special. I'm really impressed with the program. There are so many different things -- kids from all countries in America, girls, Special Olympics. It's a very complete program and I'm really happy to participate.
What kinds of things are you helping the kids with during the camp?
We share some experience of how we practice, how we think, how we approach the games, talk about special situations, different roles. And be open to listen to their questions. This I think is most important. If they take on small details to apply when they go back home, I think this is most important.
What is the youth basketball talent like in Argentina?
There are always some young guys that show that they have talent, that they have condition to play basketball at a high level. But I think it's early to tell the names because maybe you put some pressure that's unnecessary at this time. I think we have to keep watching the guys how they grow up and wait that they can develop their game, their life, and try to rise to the high level that we did.
Any favorite moment so far at BWB?
Maybe [Saturday's event] is the best because we really are helping people who need real help. I think the time we share with the campers on the court is great, but I think this is a little bit more important.
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