No Knicks player was harmed more by the team’s chaotic 2019-20 season than Kevin Knox, who went from a lottery pick with a rookie of the month award to a bench afterthought struggling to reclaim his career.
But as he embarks on his third season, Knox, 21, believes he has taken those hard lessons and is ready to rise again.
"It was tough," he said of a season in which the team went through two head coaches — both gone now — and he saw his minutes drop from 28.8 per game and 57 starts as a rookie to 19.9 and four. "But this league is a business. Things happen and people get traded, stuff happens in the organization. I just tried to stay focused as much as possible.
"Last year I think all the guys did a really good job of just staying focused with everything going on, just continue to put work in every single day. Last year was rough, but I stayed in the gym all year last year and continued to get better. Unfortunately, we had the coaching changes and I wish those coaches nothing but the best. But I think we’ve got a really good coaching staff this year and a lot of new guys that are really ready to work and really ready for this year.
"Last year was rough . . . But I think we’ve got a really good coaching staff this year and a lot of new guys that are really ready to work and really ready for this year."
Knox said that to prepare for this season, he has put on muscle and followed coach Tom Thibodeau’s urging to get in the best shape possible. His goal is to get back his minutes and return to the starting lineup.
Said Knox, "I think everyone going into training camp is fighting for minutes and fighting for spots . . . So I’m going to go in there and I’m going to compete every single day."
Rookie Immanuel Quickley was asked if he is looking forward to playing point guard and throwing lobs to Mitchell Robinson and Obi Toppin.
Said Quickley: "I’ve actually got to play 2K and use the Knicks a couple of times, so I’m already familiar with a lot of my teammates, been able to throw a couple lobs to those guys."