Yes, I have been sitting in this chair for the past four years. Alternate Caption: Well, his nickname is Jon-Jon, so that's... something, probably.
I'm at a loss for words. With me, I assume so is every player in the NBA D-League, every player playing anywhere overseas, and every player that has heard that the fastest way back to the league is honing your skills in the D-League. With the Von Wafer to Memphis deal coming soon and Bender being signed by the Knicks, it seems I'm closer to a call-up than Dontell Jefferson.
I think it's safe to say that after Donnie Walsh tried out about ten different D-League guys since April (Chris Hunter, Mouhamed Sene, Joe Crawford, Courtney Sims, Demetris Nichols, Blake Ahearn, Patrick Ewing Jr., Ron Howard, David Noel and Yaroslav Korolev), Donnie Walsh hates the D-League.
Or really wanted to make a splash in the New York media AND hates the D-League.
How else do you explain signing Jonathan Bender, a 6'11", 28 year old project that hasn't played a professional basketball game since November 5, 2005? A player that averaged 5.6 points and shot 41% from the field over seven injury-plagued seasons?
Also, Knicks fans, this isn't really the "low risk, high reward" deal it's being bragged up as. Keep in mind, now that Bender will be an eighth-year veteran, he'll be making a pro-rated salary of $1,181,803. Had you signed a D-Leaguer without any NBA experience, however, it'd have cost you $457,588. A lot less risk with that, if I'm qualified to talk about risks.
If I was Donnie Walsh (and I'm not), I would have called-up Anthony Tolliver from the D-League's Idaho Stampede. The 6'10" Tolliver is averaging 21.4 points, 11 rebounds and has the inside-outside game that Bender can probably bring, sans injury history and without the four-years-of-not-playing-basketball rust.