New Orleans Pelicans’ Langston Galloway says the New York Knicks tried to keep him, but the lure of playing near his hometown was too strong.
Langston Galloway became a fan favorite during the disastrous 2014-15 season for the New York Knicks when the undrafted player from Saint Joseph’s University was called up from the D-league and started in 41 games and finishing second in minutes played behind only Carmelo Anthony.
Despite this, when Galloway’s contract expired last summer his return was far from certain. He’s not a pure point guard, and the Knicks wanted to upgrade at the position. The 25-year-old ended up signing with the New Orleans Pelicans.
According to Galloway, despite the Knicks desire to bring him back, the opportunity to go home (he and his wife are from Louisiana) drew him to the Pelicans.
He told Marc Berman of The New York Post that he didn’t think he’d leave New York, but that was before he knew the Pels were interested in him.
“I didn’t think I would leave,’’ Galloway told The Post this week. “But I had an opportunity to go home. That definitely was big, important for me and my family and wife. It’s definitely been great playing back home, loving the atmosphere New Orleans has.’’
Galloway’s head coach in New Orleans, Alvin Gentry, spoke about what made him such an attractive free agent to his new team.
“The attraction was he was a local kid, and I did a lot of research and he’s such a professional kid,’’ Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told The Post. “We thought he can make shots. Anyone who can make shots creates space for [Anthony Davis]. That’s what we needed more than anything. That fourth-quarter stat tells me he’s not afraid of the moment and he comes through with it.”
Per Berman, after being hired Jeff Hornacek told Galloway he would fit in his system and the team wanted to bring him back.
“They definitely made the effort,” Galloway said of the Knicks. “Jeff said after the wedding, whatever happens, he’s definitely excited if I came back, but wished me luck if I decided not to.’’
The Knicks wanted to re-sign their guy, but they weren’t anticipating him getting a two-year, $10 million contract. That was to rich for their blood and they balked.
The combo guard made it clear he enjoyed his time in New York.
“I enjoyed every step of the way in New York,’’ the former Saint Joseph’s guard said. “We struggled here and there. I think the main thing was building an organization from ground up. They’re doing great this year. It was a slow process, but it’s taking off now.”
In 33 games, Galloway is averaging 21.8 minutes, 9.9 points, 1.4 assists, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.0 steals on a slash line of .397/.387/.742.