Now that I’m in my second season as a Knick, I definitely view my team as my second family.
We like to say that we have a “bunker mentality” when describing the way we approach each game. When we say that, it’s not just a sound bite: It’s a mindset that nothing can get in the way of our collective goal.
The difference this season is that our success starts with the attitudes expressed by our veterans Ray (Felton), STAT (Amar’e Stoudemire) and by crazy-fun personalities like Ronny (Turiaf). Their diverse leadership styles have built the winning attitude that’s found everywhere in our locker room now.
It’s very important to me that my team have a family feel because family is very important to me. Mine is unique because there are two professional athletes in my family.
My older brother, Harry, plays wide receiver for our hometown NFL team, the Atlanta Falcons. I’m blessed to have my best friend be in a similar environment, because not only can I bounce situations off him, but he can actually understand and give real-world advice.
People have asked me if it’s weird being in a family with two pros. They ask questions like, “How do your parents decide who to support when there’s a big game?” I just say, “Luckily, we don’t play the same sport!”
We’re very supportive of each other’s success. I think the only thing we’re really competitive about is our shared passion: cooking. I’d never admit that he’s much better than I am. He can cook all of those great soul food dishes. I stick to much simpler meals I can throw together after practice, when I’m letting my body recuperate. My brother and I are very close and try to talk every day — at least get a good text conversation going.
Right now both of our BlackBerry Messenger statuses read “All WE Do Is Win!!” (from the Rick Ross song), since we’re both having winning seasons. It’s something that makes our family very proud.
Again, luckily the Super Bowl is in February, because this team has plans on rolling well past April!
Toney Douglas, 24, plays guard for the Knicks.