Undrafted guard Langston Galloway was one of the few bright spots on the New York Knicks last season.
The Knicks suffered through a franchise-worst 17-65 season, but received a spark from Galloway, who after getting waived in training camp, signed with the Knicks D-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks, and eventually got called up to the NBA.
After impressing Knicks brass during two 10-day contracts, Galloway signed a deal with the Knicks for the rest of last season with a partially guaranteed deal this year that will pay him more than half of his $US845,000 salary if he’s still on the team by training camp.
Galloway’s story is a relatively successful one, but he took a big gamble to play in the D-League. After initially getting waived by the Knicks, he turned down bigger offers from European teams to play for the D-League and keep his hope of making it to the NBA alive.
“I knew that it’s definitely a small shot to try to make it into the NBA, but at the end of the day, like I told my agent, it’s not about the money — it’s about going out there and accomplishing my dream of making the NBA,” Galloway told Business Insider. “And that’s what I wanted to do, so that’s what I tried to do, and it all came true.”
In doing so, Galloway also had to accept the salary for D-League players, which according to Ridiculous Upside’s Keith Schlosser, was $US25,000 per season for Galloway. Galloway didn’t mince his words about the experience.
“It’s definitely tough. I’m not gonna say its not tough because the D-League really isn’t, I guess you’d say, if you’re taking care of a family or anything like that, it’s tough to try to manage the money that you’re getting, which is very limited. But at the same time, you definitely have to … put all of your eggs in one basket.”
Furthermore, a system like the D-League, in which players are basically auditioning for call-ups, isn’t always the most productive atmosphere since everyone is trying to impress. “I know a lot of guys say it’s cutthroat,” Galloway said. However, he also said that his experience was productive, particularly because the Westchester Knicks were running the triangle offence — the same as the New York Knicks — to try and promote development going into the NBA.
“They didn’t want anybody to just go out there and play for themselves and make everybody look bad, but we all played as a team, and definitely got a lot out of it,” Galloway said.
“We were doing the same thing with the triangle [offence] that the Knicks were doing. So, it really was definitely go out there and practice, try to go at each other. But at the same time, when it came time to games, you had to go out there and try to play as a team to try to make the triangle work, so I think I got the best out of that.”
Other players go through the same dilemma, but the end result may not be as positive as Galloway’s. Knicks 2014 second-round draft pick Thanasis Antetokounmpo and his agent are reportedly asking for a roster spot after he turned down a two-year, $US550,000 deal overseas to play in the D-League, also earning $US25,000. After two seasons in the D-League, if he can’t be guaranteed a spot, he may seek out more lucrative offers elsewhere.
And despite Galloway’s solid rookie season in which he averaged 11 points, four rebounds, and three assists while being named to the All-Rookie Second team, he still has work to do. The Knicks could use Galloway’s length on defence and ball-handling, but his spot is not guaranteed yet.
“There’s definitely still pressure going into this preseason,” Galloway said. “I’m definitely putting it on myself as well, just to go out there, play hard, and continue to show what I can do because that’s exactly who I am and what I’ve been doing my whole career.”
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