Rose fits Knicks' needs

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:09 AM ET

Larry Brown sees Jalen Rose as a perfect fit for the New York Knicks.

"I think he can play three positions," the Knicks coach said after his team sent Antonio Davis to the Raptors to acquire a guy he coached way back in 1996-97 with the Indiana Pacers.

"We've been short back there (in the back court) ... Most of the time in practice, we don't even have enough perimeter guys to play. It's a good situation for everybody. He's 32 years old and I haven't seen a dropoff in his play. The big thing is he'll help some of these young kids."

The Raptors played host to the Knicks last night at the Air Canada Centre. Neither Rose nor Davis played in the game, though Rose came to the arena, embraced his former teammates and sat on the Knicks bench.

Brown said when he first coached Rose, they had a battle of wills as the swingman wanted to play point guard and the coach believed he was best suited at small forward. With New York, Rose won't play the pure point but Brown thinks he'll be carrying the ball up the court at times.

(Rose) has been with me before," Brown said. "I think Jalen has handled his situation here (in Toronto) great. It's a time in his career where he can really help himself and help our team. He's exactly what we need. Our young kids need a guy in the back court or a perimeter player that knows how to play and can share the ball and thinks the game. I'm confident he knows what I want. He's at a time at his career when he has been a small forward. I think it's a no-brainer in terms of the contribution he can make."

Knicks guard Stephon Marbury applauded the deal

"He knows the game, he's been in championship situations, he understands how to play a certain style and a certain way," said Marbury, who also lamented the loss of Davis calling him "a standup dude."

BRIEFLY

Three players on the nine-player rookie team for the rookie-sophomore game at the all-star game were in action last night at the ACC -- Raptors forward Charlie Villanueva, Knicks guard Nate Robinson and forward Channing Frye.


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