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Presenting a Pelican: Langston Galloway

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Poasting and Toasting’s Seth Rosenthal introduces us to New Orleans’ newest combo guard

San Antonio Spurs v New York Knicks Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Langston Galloway is a Louisiana kid through and through.

He was born in Baton Rouge in December of 1991. In 2010 he led Christian Life Academy to their sixth state championship. That championship, by the way, was the fourth title Galloway won in five years with the Crusaders.

But as his high school career ended, so too did his ties to the state.

Galloway came “real close” to going to LSU for his college years but elected to attend St. Joseph’s instead. Spurning the university that was right in his backyard, Galloway played college ball in his mother’s hometown of Philadelphia. In four years at St. Joseph’s, Galloway finished as the school’s all-time leader in three point shots and second leading scorer behind Jameer Nelson.

His transition from college to the NBA didn’t go as smoothly as high school to college. At least not at first.

Galloway went undrafted coming out of St. Joseph’s but after a strong showing with the Knicks’ summer league team, earned a roster spot for the team’s training camp. Ultimately, Galloway did not make the Knicks’ final roster, but he spent some time with the franchise’s D-League team the Westchester Knicks. In 19 games, Galloway averaged 16 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.

Galloway finally got his chance to play in the league on January 7, 2015. He scored seven points against the Wizards in his very first NBA game. New York lost that game. They lost their next four games, too and they weren’t pretty. New York lost those games by 10, 24, 28 and 16 points.

Galloway came off the bench in all five of those games. His first start, as fate would have it, would come against his hometown team, the Pelicans. That evening in Madison Square Garden, the Knicks won the game, but Galloway was the biggest winner: he showed he belonged.

In his first start as a pro, Galloway scored 21 points and hit three of his six three-point shots. The Knicks enjoyed a brief but successful run after Galloway entered the starting lineup and won five of their next seven games. As for Galloway, he was signed on for the rest of the 2015 season the day after his 21-point outburst against the Pelicans — a contract well earned.

After coming off the bench his first four games as a professional, Galloway started the final 41 to close out the 2015 season. He averaged 11.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists and earned second-team all-rookie selection.

This past year, Galloway saw his role for the Knicks diminish. Galloway played in all 82 games but only started seven of them; his scoring and assist numbers dropped but Galloway showed plenty enough to earn a two-year deal with his hometown Pelicans.

Seth Rosenthal, editor of the Knicks’ SB Nation page Poasting and Toasting, has watched Galloway play the past two years. Here’s what he had to say about him.

Langston's a Louisiana kid but hasn't had a tie to the state for some time now. Thanks for ignoring him, Trent Johnson! Anyway, for those unfamiliar with him, who is Langston Galloway the player?

Langston Galloway's a player you'll like. He went undrafted out of St. Joe's in 2014, had a couple great games for New York's Summer League team, then distinguished himself enough with the D-League Knicks to get a mid-season NBA shot two years ago. He quickly proved himself able to defend guards of any size, and athletic enough to make some awesome finishes around the rim. On offense, his point guard skills aren't the strongest, and he's still more of a streak shooter than a consistent one, but he certainly won't hurt a team on that end. With all that, he just seems like a cool, relaxed guy who gets along with teammates and coaches and works his ass off whenever he touches the floor.

The theme of the Pelicans offseason signings have been defense and good locker room presence. Is that an accurate description for Galloway?

Yes and yes. Galloway's quick on his feet, relatively smart with his positioning, and quite bouncy off the floor to contest shots around the basket. And he seems like a sweetheart.

Jrue Holiday is entrenched as the Pelicans starting point guard. The starting shooting guard job, however, isn't so definite. What are the chances Galloway comes in and earns the starting 2-guard job?

Certainly seems doable. I think the Knicks came to prefer him off the ball, though that depended (and will depend) on his three-point shooting, which has come and gone. He started last season super hot, then cooled off considerably, so it's unclear how consistently useful he'll be spreading the floor. He definitely seems closer to that kind of role than he does to handling the ball a lot in pick-and-rolls and such.

Galloway's deal is for two years, but he has a player option for the second. So there's a chance New Orleans will have to use cap space to sign him as they don't have his Bird Rights. If that situation arises should they?

So hard to say with such a big season ahead of him. At the same price New Orleans got him for, I imagine it'd be worthwhile. If he really explodes this season, maybe he'll be after a huge contract and make it tough.

Let's say Galloway comes off the bench for New Orleans this year, is he running point primarily or playing off the ball?

Same deal as 3. No matter his minutes, I think Galloway will do more for your team right now as a secondary slasher/shooter than he will as the guy handling the ball most of the time. He can certainly guard both positions, though.

Galloway's had a tough road getting to where he is today. Undrafted coming out of St. Joseph's. Had a stint in the D-League. Played for the Knicks (no offense). When he got to New York what was the moment where you knew he belonged?

There were a couple put-back dunks in that first half-season that sounded a "whoaaa this guy's really athletic" alarm, but I think it was watching him bother some of the league's best guards and bury a couple really clutch shots that made Knicks fans eager to bring him back in 2015.