Knicks' Andrea Bargnani Gets Advice On How to Survive New York

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2013

DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 07:  Andrea Bargnani #7 of the Toronto Raptors at American Airlines Center on November 7, 2012 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Andrea Bargnani needn't worry, because Danilo Gallinari has his back.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the former New York Knicks fan favorite has already started to show Bargs how to survive in the Big Apple:

Andrea Bargnani is already asking former Knick Danilo Gallinari about the best Italian restaurants in Manhattan. Bargnani, whose trade from the Raptors will become official Wednesday, is flying in from Rome tomorrow to meet with Knicks brass.

Bargnani and Gallinari, from Milan, are close former Italian National Team members. Gallinari is giving Bargnani a lot of advice.

“We are very good friends,’’ Gallinari said in an email to The Post. “He’s a great guy. He loves to work and he likes New York a lot. He’s very excited."

After Gallo is done schooling Bargs in New York's finest Italian cuisine, perhaps he can help him find the three-point touch that has eluded him the past three seasons. Reminding him that defense and rebounding are a part of the game of basketball would be valuable advice as well.

In all seriousness, Bargs needs to be apprised of what awaits him in New York. Toronto's patrons could be callous, but New York's are worse.

The fans will love him. Until he misses. Then they'll hate him. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

Very few athletes are immune to the brutality of Knicks loyalists, but Gallo was one of them. He was beloved by those in New York for his sweet jump shot, inexplicable facial expressions and bouncy hairdo. Bargs won't be functioning with the same shield.

Fans are going to turn on him; it's inevitable. He can hope that it doesn't get as bad as it did during the tail end of his time with the Toronto Raptors, but this is New York, where the expectations are even higher. 

One minute you're riding Cloud Nine, the next minute the papers and your supposed admirers are calling for you to be traded. Just ask Carmelo Anthony. Or Amar'e Stoudemire. J.R. Smith knows a thing or 20 about the love-and-hate relationship shared between the Knicks and their supporters, too.

Nothing Gallo, 'Melo or anyone else tells Bargs now will completely prepare him for what's to come later, though. He has to experience it for himself to fully understand how different life is in New York. 

He has to be thrown to the sharks, then learn how to swim on his own. 

"I think he will be good in New York," Gallo said.

Hopefully Gallo's right; otherwise, scouring the concrete jungle for an authentic bowl of ravioli will be the least of Bargs' worries.