Jamal Crawford hasn't won all that many basketball games. He played two years in high school, part of one season at Michigan, and with a lousy Bulls team for his first four years in the NBA.
Despite that inexperience, the newest Knick said the team has a chance to win a championship soon.
"Last year, everyone said the Lakers were going to win and they didn't," Crawford said yesterday at the Knicks' training facility in Greenburgh, where he was introduced with fellow former Bull Jerome Williams. "We have enough talent on this team to compete with anyone, and once the playoffs start, anything can happen."
Even a Knicks title?
"I don't want to put a timetable on it," said Crawford.
"But nobody expected the Pistons to do what they did, and I hope we can do something like that, too."
Crawford is expected to be a very highly-paid bench player (seven years, $56 million). He's coming off of his most productive season, during which he scored 17.3 ppg.
"I'm very excited to be here," said Crawford, 24, "whether that's coming off the bench or starting. I just wanted this because of everything Isiah [Thomas] is doing."
He said he wouldn't have a problem playing behind Stephon Marbury and Allan Houston.
"Those are two Hall of Famers," Crawford, a 6-5 guard, said. "And it's not like I wouldn't be on the court. I'll be getting better every day in practice."
Thomas was reveling in the success of getting Crawford in yet another move to reshape the once-stagnant Knicks. Thomas said he wasn't concerned about playing time becoming a problem.
"He definitely has All-Star potential," Thomas said of Crawford. "If he, Steph and Allan all are healthy, I can see us using a three-guard offense, too."
Lenny Wilkens said he would consider that option.
"I've never had a problem with that," Wilkens said.
He also said he was confident that Crawford would adapt well to whatever role he was given.
"Jamal is just finding out now what he has to do to become successful in this league," Wilkens said. "That's a great time to get a player."
Wilkens coached Williams, a 6-9 forward who averaged 6.2 points and 7.0 rebounds last season, in Toronto.
"He's very versatile and he doesn't worry about scoring," Wilkens said.
Instead, Williams, 31, said he was interested in making the Knicks a contender.
"Right now, we're a top-5 team in the East," Williams said. "If we add players, like a Dampier, that will send us over the top."
"Without a doubt, we can make a run in the playoffs," Crawford said. "We have so many great guys on this team."