Miles “Deuce” McBride fell to the second round in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Knicks scooped him up at pick no. 36, adding a two-way talent at the point guard spot.
NEW YORK, NY — Up until last year, the New York Knicks were antonymous with winning. The 2020–21 season was the franchise’s first winning season in almost a decade. To keep the good times rolling, they drafted a player who knows nothing but team success.
With the 36th overall pick, New York drafted Miles “Deuce” McBride, a 6-foot-2 point guard from West Virginia. After the draft, McBride, 20, told his draft party attendees that he’ll make teams pay for letting him fall so far in the draft. In his introductory press conference, he explained why they’ll regret it.
“I feel like I have a winning DNA,” McBride said. “Throughout high school and college, I’ve just always won and that’s the main thing I want to bring to the Knicks, that winning DNA.” New York has never been able to sustain such successful genetics for more than a few seasons since their dominance of the 1990s. They’ve revived that era of Knicks basketball’s defensive identity and added two players—McBride and Houston guard Quentin Grimes—to fortify the team’s defense.
Like Grimes, who played college ball for Kelvin Sampson, McBride’s collegiate coach, Bob Huggins, built his program with an emphasis on defense and toughness. Deuce is a defensive menace, equipped with a 6-foot-8 wingspan and the instincts to disrupt offenses on and off the ball. He said that defense and “playing with instincts” will earn him playing time right away.
In addition to defensive chops that drew Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau’s eye, McBride also possesses a smooth-looking jumper and improved playmaking abilities from his freshman to sophomore seasons. But he acknowledged that, although he has an offensive game that’s “one of the best in this draft”, he has room to improve. He said that experience in the pick-and-roll is something of which he needs more.
Just how well McBride’s two-way style of play will translate to the professional level remains to be seen. Having skills to bank on for both sides of the ball is extremely helpful to a Knicks squad who doesn’t have a point guard that can legitimately impact the game on both ends. It was something they were lacking in last season but is a role that Deuce can fill.
I asked Deuce McBride how he felt about getting drafted by a playoff team.
"It really feels amazing, honestly…Winning, to me, is everything. So, the fact that they made the playoffs and I feel like I can be another piece to continue to go upwards, it's a great combination." pic.twitter.com/3jsr4uQIyl
— Droppin grimes, droppin grimes🪙👋 (@BySamDiGiovanni) July 30, 2021
McBride has not only the talent but the mindset to become a productive player. He played quarterback in high school, leading his team to a 3-1 record in his junior year by tossing 16 touchdowns. A foot injury kept him sidelined for the remainder of the season and he decided not to play as a senior to focus on basketball.
“Being a high-school quarterback definitely taught me a lot of leadership skills,” he said. “Being able to lead a team of 80, 90, 100 guys as one of the main things, a lot of moving parts and a lot of different pieces that you’ve got to make fit…I think Thibs saw that leadership, my leadership style. I’m not necessarily a yeller but I feel like I can definitely hold guys accountable.”
McBride addresses the Knicks’ need for a point guard and fits their defense-first M.O. It’s a marriage made in heaven. “I’m just excited to be a Knick,” McBride said. “It feels great to go to a team that wants me and understands my game and sees everything I can do on the floor.”