Having failed to convince Shannon Brown that playing for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference is better than trying to win a third straight title, the Knicks have found a suitable backup option: They are about to sign Spurs shooting guard Roger Mason Jr. Frank Isola of the Daily News says it's a one-year deal for $1.4 million. Mason's a likable chap, but you get what you pay for.
So, what do you need to know about Mason Jr.? Well, we don't know if you have to keep saying the "Junior" in his name all year, but here are some things we do know.
1. He's trying to become an actor. Initially, everyone learned Mason Jr. might be a Knick through a video promoting Mason Jr.'s affiliation with acting coach John Pallotta. Pallotta has been "mentoring and developing actors for almost five years," and has testimonials from such luminaries as Susanne Alegiero, Angela Jayden, and Bill Rapp. (No, we don't know who those people are, either.) He's a playwright who seems to have only one headshot.
2. He's on Twitter. At @moneymase. He has spent most of the last month asking fans where he should sign and reminding people that prayer is not just for little old ladies.
3. He's happy to be back in the NBA. He spent two years playing overseas, including a year in Israel, but was a key component on some Spurs teams upon returning. He was never really healthy last year, and his three-point percentage, his major strength, dropped from 42 percent to 33 percent.
4. He's instantly the technical-foul free-throw shooter. He's at 87 percent from the line for his career, higher than Danilo Gallinari's 82 percent.
5. He might start, but there's no real urgency for him to. The Knicks have a ton of small forwards and "power" forwards, but are short at the two-spot. Mason Jr. is a helpful, if not particularly inspired, short-term solution. Mostly, he'll be nice to have at the end of games.
6. He's almost zero risk. Donnie Walsh spent little money, and it's just a one-year deal. There's no commitment here, and after last year's injury-plagued season, he has plenty to prove.
7. You may remember him from a couple of Christmases ago. He hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Spurs a win over the Suns. It was a pretty wild game. We hope Amar'e isn't still mad. Here are the highlights:
8. Seriously, he loves those last-second shots. Here's a compilation. He'll be nice to have around, and very likable and then will be gone in a year. We think the roster's probably full now.
Look, we didn't mention Carmelo Anthony or Chris Paul once!