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NBA scout compares Jarace Walker to Larry Johnson

“Walker should be a top-10 pick,” an NBA scout told HoopsHype. “He’s an exceptional passing big man. He can shoot, handle and pass. He’s just got to get more aggressive. He doesn’t realize yet with that body how he can punish people. He has to get more consistent with that, and then he’ll be really good. He reminds me of Larry Johnson. He’s that type of body, just not as outgoing of a personality.”
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau offered his condolences to the family of Mark Warkentien, a longtime NBA executive who worked for the Knicks during his career and passed away at the age of 69 on Friday. He was the NBA’s Executive of the Year in 2008-09 while serving as the general manager of the Nuggets. “We had a close relationship. He had been with Jerry Tarkanian for a long time at UNLV and Larry Johnson and all those guys,” Thibodeau said. “And so, I got to know him throughout the years. Just a great basketball guy, a good family man. Sad news.”
It was 23 years ago today that Larry Johnson hit one of the most memorable shots in Knicks history. His four-point play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals propelled the Knicks to the 1999 NBA Finals and became one of the franchise’s most iconic moments. Now, more than two decades later, Johnson’s game-worn jersey from that night has surfaced. A collector purchased Johnson’s game-worn jersey from the four-point play last month for $63,000 at Heritage Auctions.
Sixty-three thousand may seem like a significant amount of money for game-worn attire, but @goatcollect was happy to pay it. “The cultural significance of this jersey to the city of New York and Knicks fans across the world cannot be put into words. Owning this jersey was a day I have been waiting for since my childhood. We have never quite seen the Garden erupt like it did on June 5, 1999. I get chills just thinking about it. “As a collector, I focus on nostalgia and collecting the moment; and this piece is as relevant of an artifact that I can think of as Knicks fan. Now I just need to find Sprewell and Houston’s 1999 Playoff jerseys.”
“Now you’re looking at a couple years of injury and weight gain,” an Eastern Conference GM said. “When you have a guy whose success weighs — no pun intended — so heavily on being an athlete, that’s worrisome. Everything he does has to do with him being three feet over the rim.” A second East GM echoed the concern that Williamson’s superiority is too reliant on his explosiveness, which is going to be hard to maintain at his size. “I figured he’d come in and make a big splash for six, seven years, but eventually his body would break down and that would be it,” the GM said. “He doesn’t have the skill level of a Charles Barkley or a Larry Johnson.”