“I know you expect a lot from me, and people expect a lot from me,” Gallinari said late Wednesday night, “but I’m not a superstar, I’m not an All-Star, I’m not LeBron, I’m not those great players. I’m an important player of the Knicks. And that’s what I’m trying to do, to help the team every time. Sometimes, can be these type of games, sometimes not. But as long as we win, it’s all good.”
--Danilo Gallinari, The NBA's New York Knicks' emerging star, discussing his emergence as a key player.
Gallinari just posted consecutive 20-point games for the first time this season — 21 in Denver and a season-high 27 in Sacramento — and was simply asked if he needed a performance like this for his confidence. Danilo showed some flashes of brilliance last season including a 28-point performance, also against Denver and Carmelo Anthony.
This season, Gallinari also put up 24 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the floor (including 4-for-4 on 3s) against the Chicago Bulls on November 4.
“He’s very secure in who he is and he’s very confident,” his coach, Mike D’Antoni said. “He can tell you one thing, but he may think another. But I think he knows he has a lot of work to do to get where those guys are. He’s not up there. I don’t think that says he can’t get there, he’s just not them yet."
D'Antoni once called Gallinari the best shooter he had ever seen. But, Gallinari does not focus on stardom.
“It’s not my goal,” he said. “You know me, so I never say that. It’s not in my mind. It’s not in my mind. My mind is to win with this franchise. I’ve been selected and picked by this franchise three years ago. I want to stay here. I want to win with this franchise. That’s all that is in my mind. I’ve been working with the coaches; the coaches know what I can do and I’m just trying to be the best player I can.”
What about you? Is your mindset to be the star or to help your team be successful?
Excerpts from the New York Times (November 16 & 19, 2010) and ESPN.com (November 5, 2010).
For more on mental conditioning, click on The Handbook of Peak Performance.