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By John DeFelice
Iman Shumpert has been a fan favorite ever since he stepped on the Garden floor. Knicks fans love the passion, fire, and athleticism that is a natural part of his game. He is one of the best defenders and a rising star in the league. Knicks fans particularly love Iman for his “sway” both on and off the court. Some of you might be wondering what exactly is “sway”.
As Shumpert explained in a recent interview, he doesn’t have “swag”. He has “sway”, which is essentially Shump describing his level of originality.
He entered the 2012-13 season with a flat top haircut that, according to Iman, won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. He also dons a wardrobe that compels his teammates to regularly second-guess his sense of style. Indeed, Carmelo Anthony called Shumpert’s style “interesting” at a Knicks tip off event this year.
Shumpert describes “Knickstape” as “a mix tape of guys who wear a Knicks uniform.” After a game against the Charlotte Bobcats, reporters asked Carmelo Anthony--who left the game early due to an injury--if he saw the finish, and he responded, “I didn’t see anything… I heard everyone saying Knickstape… I knew we won the game.”
Shumpert also is in charge of the Knicks’ pregame huddle that forms following the announcement of the starting lineup. Iman’s teammates get in a circle around him in the middle of the floor, at which time he writes NYK and the opponent team’s initials with his finger. He subsequently steps on the opponent’s initials as the Knicks break the huddle. Despite nursing an injured knee this season, Shump gets on the floor in his suit and completes this same tradition every game.
Finally, Iman loves music, in particular rap. He released his mixtape entitled “2w0 1NE – Th3 #Post90s” on his website ImanShumpert.com last week. Accordingly, it’s not shocking that he is also the brain behind the team’s new anthem, in which he freestyles about the Knicks roster over the beat of Kanye West’s, Big Sean’s and Jay-Z’s hit song “Clique”. The anthem has accumulated 160,000+ views on YouTube since its debut.
Shumpert has...well, plenty of "sway".