Lavor Postell’s Got Next In NY

One year ago, their names brought cheers from the crowds at Madison Square Garden. This year, the announcement of their names rouses faint recognition and polite applause. One year ago, the media fought for a moment of their time. This year, the media ignores them. In the past, they played significant roles in important wins. This year, they receive minimum playing time, when they do play.

Such are the lives of National Basketball Association rookies, and former St. John’s standouts, Erick Barkley and Lavor Postell.

After a successful run that saw St. John’s make the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament and win the Big East Tournament Championship, both Barkley and Postell were drafted by NBA teams. Barkley was a first round draft choice (28th overall) of the Portland Trail Blazers. Postell was a second round selection (39th overall) of the New York Knicks.

Postell struggles to see playing time with the Knicks, as they have a glut of swingmen in front of him on the depth chart. Latrell Sprewell, Allan Houston, Glen Rice, Erick Strickland, Charlie Ward, Chris Childs, and Rick Brunson are all ahead of Postell. Despite the lack of minutes for Postell, he has maintained the positive demeanor that he had at St. John’s. “It’s like 300 or 400 jobs (as a player in the NBA) and I’m one of them. I have a job here, do you know how many people out there are dying to have this job?” Postell said.

St. John’s head coach Mike Jarvis is confident that Postell will become a solid NBA player. ” I would say he has a chance because he’s in the league, and hopefully he will be one of those guys that stays ready,” said Jarvis.

Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy told the New York Post that Postell’s attitude has been positive. “Like most young players, he wants to be on the floor, but he’s certainly not a problem. He’s handled himself very well.”

One of the benefits of being drafted by the Knicks was that Postell is only 30 minutes away from his old coach, Jarvis. “When it was the Knicks (who drafted Postell) it made it special because it is the home team,” Jarvis said. Postell echoed the same sentiment. “I was just happy to stay in the home area,” Postell said.

Another fringe benefit of being drafted by the Knicks is that Postell is on one of the contending teams. “I had friends in the NBA (Felipe Lopez and Ron Artest) and they told me about it. You go to a horrible team and play but you’re losing or you go to a good team and not play. You’re going to win but you might not play at all,” Postell said. “You always gotta be there and I’m always there.”