Jarrett Jack says he’s happy with his role as mentor to young Knicks
LOS ANGELES — Jarrett Jack is happy he’s still a Knick.
Jack was upset about published reports that indicated that he might ask the Knicks to waive him by Thursday so he could join a contender and be eligible for the playoffs. He is content in his role as a mentor to the Knicks’ young guards while hoping he gets to play in some games before the season is out.
“I don’t know why people wrote that I was looking for a buyout or created the narrative that that was something I was pushing for,” Jack, 34, said before Friday night’s game against the Clippers. “I’d feel funny if I was like, ‘All right, guys. See you all later.’ ’’
The Knicks almost certainly won’t be making the playoffs, but not being assured of a playoff berth — of having to work hard down the stretch — is something Jack relishes.
“It’s different, man, going to a situation with 20 games left and you’re in the playoffs,” he said. “The whole grind of it is what I like the most.”
Jack started 56 games but hadn’t played in the last three entering Friday night. When a playoff spot became more improbable, the Knicks went in another direction. Emmanuel Mudiay replaced Jack as the starter and Frank Ntilikina and Trey Burke have been getting increased minutes off the bench.
Jeff Hornacek has talked to Jack about his diminished role, and Jack said he would remain a professional and help out any way he can.
“Same attitude,” he said. “Still coming to work same as usual, preparing like it’s just another day in the league regardless of what the situation is.”
Another 10-day for Williams?
Troy Williams’ 10-day contract is set to expire, but a source said he will be signed to a second one Saturday. The athletic forward began Friday averaging 7.0 points in three games as a Knick.
“He’s played well for us,” Hornacek said. “It’s that activity. His athleticism and length. He covers ground. I can’t speak for Scott [Perry, the general manager] and all that, but he’s probably done enough to earn that.”
High on Tobias
Clippers coach Doc Rivers praised former Half Hollow Hills West star Tobias Harris for how much work he’s put into his game.
Rivers said he used to watch Harris when he was in grade school and high school because he’s the same age as his son, Clippers guard Austin Rivers. Doc said that now that he sees Harris every day — he was acquired from Detroit in January in the Blake Griffin trade — he’s been surprised by his overall development.
“He’s just better than I thought in everything,” Rivers said. “I got to watch him in AAU as a center. He couldn’t shoot when he was grade school and high school and even in college. Now he’s one of the better three-point shooters in the league. His post game is terrific. He does a lot more. He’s put a lot of work into his game.”