With training camp approaching fast, two new Knicks speak on New York’s ceiling.
On Tuesday, the New York Knicks introduced two new members of the team, Michael Beasley and Jarrett Jack, and both subsequently met the Big Apple press.
Beasley, the usually outspoken former no. 2 overall pick in the 2008 draft–behind Derrick Rose, answered various questions ranging from the expectations for the Knicks in the upcoming NBA season to his offseason workout regimen.
Some words from the “Walking Bucket” himself (via Newsday):
“I’m your favorite player’s favorite player.”
Speak on it.
“Tim Hardaway, Jr., Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, and myself–those are four guys that can score 25 points per game”
There’s only one ball, though.
“Do I see us [being] better than a 30-win team in Vegas? Listen, I don’t even go to Vegas. So, yeah, I do. I think we’ve got a position to be not only a playoff team but a 5-, 6-seed team if we do it right.” (via Ian Begley/ESPN)
Beasley’s statements on Tuesday shouldn’t raise too many eyebrows–this wasn’t the Derrick Rose “super team” press conference of yesteryear. Beas also mentioned he drew interest in New York during free agency due to associate head coach Kurt Rambis’ and his prior relationship in Minnesota.
The confidence displayed by Beasley is only natural for this time of year. While the Knicks are clearly in a rebuilding period, and management has stated such, each player has his respective career trajectory and timeline, so someone like Beas can only speak on his own commitment to contributing to a winning team (Walking Bucket said he lost nearly 20 pounds on a “mostly vegan” diet to better adjust to a healthy lifestyle).
Elsewhere, the Knicks brought Jarrett Jack close to the fire, as the veteran point guard just signed this past week spoke to the media mostly on the offense (no Triangle!) and how he could mentor 2017 draft pick Frank Ntilikina.
“[Frank] has a lot of tools that you can’t teach but just the cerebral side of it, that’s where I come into play. Just try to help him to some little tricks of the trade as the season goes along and just understanding what it means to be a starting point guard in this league.” (via Newsday)
It’s unclear if Jack will be a mainstay on the roster for the season (reportedly his deal his non-guaranteed, and NBA teams can bring up to 20 players into training camp). The Knicks’ signing of Ramon Sessions during the offseason further clouds the point guard rotation in 2017–18, but we know they plan to develop Ntilikina in earnest.
That’s all from the first taste of training camp. Season’s just around the corner!
— Reid Goldsmith, managing editor