Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau by no means took a liking to ahead Kevin Knox and his stint with the staff since being a 2018 lottery decide got here to a merciful finish Thursday along with his commerce to the Hawks.
Kevin Knox Sr., Knox’s father who performed huge receiver for Florida State and the NFL’s Bills, stated some members of the franchise had raised eyebrows over why Knox by no means obtained an opportunity with Thibodeau.
“That’s a great question for Tom Thibodeau,’’ Knox Sr. told The Post when asked why he felt Knox didn’t get a look. “I think we turned the corner. Everybody could see the progression of a young Kevin Knox where he wasn’t really a defensive liability. I think Tom Thibodeau did a great job helping Kevin be a better defensive player. At some point, I think he did become that. He’s always had that stroke and so it become puzzling throughout the organization on why he wasn’t playing Kevin.”
Kevin Knox’s father stated it was ‘puzzling’ why Tom Thibodeau (left) didn’t give his son extra minutes. AP, Getty
Indeed, Knicks normal supervisor Scott Perry was behind drafting Knox at No. 9 in 2018, when the staff president was Steve Mills. Current president Leon Rose in all probability didn’t have the funding in Knox’s success. According to a supply, some membership personnel thought Knox ought to play.
Knox Sr. gained’t blame Rose.
“It can be [a factor] but at the end of the day, it’s not the president who calls the plays,” he stated. “It’s not the president who makes the substitutions. The president hires a coach. This coach here obviously felt he can win games without Kevin Knox. To be able to go to another team, you can’t help be excited because you can have the opportunity to have a chance to play meaningful minutes.”
Knox, who hasn’t talked to the media since preseason, is alleged to be thrilled on the commerce, which is able to carry him nearer to his hometown of Tampa, Fla.
“There’s not many miles on the Rolls Royce,” Knox Sr. stated.
In the commerce, the Knicks acquired Cam Reddish, who requested out of Atlanta to get extra enjoying time, however has landed in an analogous logjam.
“Kevin’s excited,” Knox Sr. stated. “He sees alternative there, a extra fast-paced offense to play with a degree guard in Trae Young who’s an All-Star. He will get within the lane and kicks out to folks for open photographs. Kevin’s actually excited to be coached by Coach Nate [McMillan], a confirmed coach who performed within the league.
“Since he’s been in the league, Kevin’s had three coaches, two presidents, new coaching staffs. Nate sees a breath of fresh air for Kevin.”
Knox has performed in simply 13 video games this season.
“We were looking for a different opportunity to play,” Knox Sr. stated. “Hopefully we have found a coach who believes in us and the talent and skill sets Kevin Knox has. It’s a relief.”
Kevin Knox performed in simply 13 video games for the Knicks this yr. AP
Knox was faraway from the Knicks’ rotation early final season, then by no means obtained a crack at it in 2021-22.
The closing straw, nonetheless, got here final month when, after COVID-19 wracked the staff, Knox was wanted as a backup energy ahead and delivered in opposition to the Bucks and Warriors. Then, he obtained COVID-19 and upon his return, was again on the finish of the bench.
“He got here into the sport after not enjoying and in opposition to Milwaukee, he goes 5 of 12 from 3,’’ Knox Sr. stated. “The subsequent recreation he’s 9 factors and 7 rebounds, then we don’t see Kevin anymore. I do know it was very puzzling to us.’’
“The agent Aaron Turner talked to Atlanta GM [Travis Schlenk]. This is a trade both parties wanted. Atlanta gets a first-round pick and a young player who is the same age as Cam Reddish. We appreciate the opportunity.”