By Ben Fractenberg
MIDTOWN — De-fense!
"He can rebound. He can play great defense," said die-hard Knicks supporter Michael Vega, 48, of Brooklyn. "I'm proud."
Another fan said he agreed the team needs a strong defender, but wished the Knicks would have gotten a bigger player.
"[Amar'e Stoudemire] can't do everything by himself. We need a bigger forward with defense," said Kenyel Tate, 24, of Brooklyn, who noted he saw Shumpert play a few times last year and thinks he's a strong player with a lot of athletic ability.
Chris Parise, 22, said he understood why some people were disappointed with the pick, but thought it was the right move.
"He's not a big, glitzy pick, but I like it," he said. "They have enough offensive guys."
Shumpert is regarded as versatile player, who can play both point guard and shooting guard. The 6-foot-5 player was picked 17th overall by the Knicks.
The team also got 6-foot-10 center Josh Harrellson after buying the 45th pick from the New Orleans Hornets.
Knicks fan Bruno Joseph said he would withhold judgment until he sees how Shumpert adjusts to the big stage.
"Playing in college and playing in the NBA is not the same thing," he said.