New York Knicks to bring Jonathon Bender back to the NBA
The New York Knicks have swooped to bring injury-prone forward Jonathan Bender back to the National Basketball Association by signing the free-agent after a three-year absence from the league.
The 7-foot plus Bender was originally selected out of high school by the Toronto Raptors with the fifth overall pick in the 1999 draft, but subsequently moved to the Indiana Pacers on the very same day.
He enjoyed his best-ever season in 2001-02, when he averaged personal career-bests of 7.4 points and 3.1 rebounds in 78 games for the Pacers, but was unfortunately blighted by injury shortly afterwards, forcing him to miss 172 games over the next three seasons before he was sidelined indefinitely by chronic knee pain in February 2006.
The 28-year old will now hook-up with head coach Mike D’Anton at Madison Square Garden in a bid to get his stuttering basketball career back on track, with Knicks fans hoping that Bender can re-capture the form that had the Pacers purring 8 years ago.
One man who has every faith that Bender will be back with a bang is Knicks president Donnie Walsh, who hailed signing the forward as a significant coup after overseeing his recuperation. “Jonathan has worked extremely hard in preparing himself for a return,” Walsh revealed.