The newest member of the Knicks, Ronnie Brewer, joined Joe and Evan on WFAN this afternoon to talk about his role with the team, his unorthodox shot, and his journey through free agency:
What exactly does Ronnie Brewer bring to the table?
Hard worker, hustle player, a very good perimeter defender. I can play up tempo basketball, I can execute offense, and I can make easy plays for guys off the dribble. To me, be a good role player with Carmelo, Amar’e, J.R., J-Kidd and Raymond Felton. I’m looking forward to playing with those guys and I think the sky’s the limit for this team.
Do you look at being a [perimeter defender] as your strongest asset?
I think so. A lot of people wan’t to play defense, but some people just don’t have the ability to do it. I take pride in defense, and in my opinion defense wins championships. I hang my hat on that and try to play as hard as I possibly can night in and night out. I think throughout my career fans have appreciated that and I’m gonna leave it all on the floor.
Do you think that this Knick team can get to that kind of level defensively as that Bulls team your were on?
I think so, it has to be a want thing. Everyone on the team has the ability to do, everyone on the team is athletic enough and has the fundamentals to do it. We all just have to want to do it as a team. If we buy into the coach’s system and philosophy of defending first, I think we can win a lot of games.
Do you see yourself as the starting 2 guard opening night for this team?
To be honest, going into this situation I just want to play basketball. If JR is gonna start, that’s fine with me, if coach Woodson want’s me to start. I’m just here to do whatever the team needs. If he tells me to jump on the floor and get every loose ball, I’m gonna do everything in my power to do that. The Knicks had a good team before I got there, I’m just trying to come in and add to the talent and whatever is needed and asked of me- I’m gonna try to do that with my best ability.
Do you think this Knick team has enough to maybe get through the [Miami Heat]?
I think so. If you look at the roster top to bottom, you got a lot of leadership, a lot of athleticism, and we have some star power. Whenever you have Carmelo, and he has guys on an island, it’s very tough to stop him one on one. And when Amar’e has his game going, it’s very tough to stop him. If you put some good pieces around them that can do a lot of different things, it’s a matchup problem. You have Tyson inside locking down the middle, that’s gonna lead to easy transition baskets and you have a lot of guys that can score in transition. I’m looking forward to it.
Tell everyone how your [unorthodox shot] came about:
If it was up to me, I wish I could shoot the ball normal. I broke my arm in the 5th grade, and it set a certain way which enabled me to shoot a different way. When I’m making it and I’m shooting it with confidence, it goes in. So I just have to play with a lot of confidence.
How did Free Agency go for you, did you know you wanted to go to the Knicks?
Well, the Bulls had been saying that they were gonna pick my option up, and then when the deadline came they didn’t pick it up. So then I opened up into free agency and a lot of teams reached out to me and I took serious looks into teams, but to me it didn’t come down to money. It’s where you wanted to go, where you felt comfortable, and the role and potential the team had. When I looked at New York, it’s such a great market, they have a great coaching staff, great fans, and a great team. I felt like it was a place I could come in and hopefully play well. I think that the fans will respect my skill level and what I do on the court.
Who’s the better point guard Deron Williams or Derrick Rose?
They’re two different players. D. Rose is a score first, pass second point guard, and the reason he’s a score first because I don’t think there’s anyone in the league that can get in front of him and stop him from where he wants to go. Nothing against D Rose, his talent level is just so high up there that he makes the game look so easy. D Will is more of a set up guy, a create guy, that can get into the defense and can hit the pull up or floater but is more of a floor general. Overall, D Will might be the best point guard, but I still think D. Rose is still one of the best talents to ever play the game at the point guard position because he changed the game at that position. The way he gets the rebound and pushes the ball up the court, the way he gets in the lane, the way he passes the ball with a man cutting- I had the privilege to play with both guys and to me, they’re both two premiere talents at the point guard position so it’s hard to say one’s better than the other.
“To me it was an easy choice, and I’m happy with the decision I made.”