Knicks sign veteran Quentin Richardson for playoffs
The Knicks have added yet another 30-something veteran when they inked Quentin Richardson for the remainder of the season on Tuesday.
The 33-year-old forward will be making his second tour of duty with the franchise, after playing in New York from 2005-09. But unlike that dark age of Knicks basketball, Richardson will be taken along this magical ride, as the No. 2 seed Knicks prepare for the first round of the playoffs, starting Saturday against the rival Celtics.
Richardson, 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, was added when a roster spot was created by the release of forward Solomon Jones after just two games. The reason the Knicks could sign Richardson as opposed to, someone like former Spurs forward Stephen Jackson, is because Richardson was not on an NBA roster on March 1. Jackson was still a Spur at that time, which makes him ineligible for the postseason. Richardson was last on an NBA roster in October 2012 as a member of the Magic’s training camp.
While he’ll likely be an end-of-bench guy, Richardson still adds great value to the Knicks and head coach Mike Woodson because of his versatility to play both forward positions, his ability to shoot the 3-pointer (a career 35.5 percent 3-point shooter, including 39.7 percent in the playoffs) and his playoff experience (21 career playoff starts out of 31 total appearances).
“I figured when we get some of our bigs back, it’ll give us one more perimeter guy that can defend a little bit, that can make shots and space the floor like we play. I just think it adds to what we’re trying to do,” said Woodson. “We do have a lot of perimeter guys, but my thing has always been whoever plays, you’ve got to make the most out of your minutes. And if we get somebody in the game that’s struggling a little bit, then maybe I can turn to Quentin to get it done. … That’s the reason for bringing him to our ball club.”
Besides his physical attributes, Richardson also has intimate knowledge of the Celtics and Heat, not to mention animosity toward them as well. Those two franchises specifically have been main antagonists during Richardson’s career, as he’s had history with both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett of the Celtics, dating back to 2010, and LeBron James of the Heat, dating back to 2011.
Richardson’s contempt for the aforementioned teams could actually be used as a positive for a Knicks squad yearning to get past the first round of the playoffs for the first time in 13 years, because he’ll certainly ratchet up the practice intensity and will not let his team suffer from complacency.
Also, by all accounts, Richardson, despite his chippy play, is known around the league as a great locker room guy who will always have the back of any guy wearing the same uniform. His character has also always been praised, specifically during his first Knicks tenure when he was one of the few stand-up individuals whenever things went awry and people were looking for answers.
Follow Knicks beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.