Knicks rookie Kevin Knox ‘a little bit disappointed’ to not make Rising Stars Challenge
Glimpsing sustained glimmers of hope for the first time in years, New York Knicks fans got a bit too carried away over the summer in their appraisal of Kevin Knox.
The ninth overall pick of last June’s draft put up stellar numbers at Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 21.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game while flashing a mouth-watering combination of length, shot-making chops, and explosive athleticism.
One problem: Knox shot an ugly 35.1 percent from the floor, and nearly doubled his amount of assists with turnovers.
Still, the Kentucky product is certainly an enticing young prospect at forward, the type of effortless yet live-wire athlete perfectly suited for both the modern NBA and, most importantly here, its glorified exhibition games.
Don’t tell that to the league office, though, which left Knox off the roster for this year’s Rising Stars Challenge, an All-Star Weekend event featuring 24 of the game’s top first and second-year players.
“When you look at that list, there’s a lot of talented, great players on that list that they chose,” Knox told Chris Iseman of northjersey.com about the Rising Stars roster. “Unfortunately I didn’t make it. But you look at it, there’s a lot of my friends on that list I like to play basketball list [sic]. They’ve got good players on there, on the World team as well. When you look at that list, I was a little bit disappointed but I was happy for those that made.”
The roster is split up between domestic and foreign-born players, leaving Knox as a candidate for one of 12 spots in the event granted to Americans. Assessing the United States’ squad, the decision to not select Knox is one that’s easily defensible.
The team is made up of established rising stars, meaningful contributors to solid teams, and rookies who have put up big numbers since the season tipped off in the fall.
Unfortunately, none of those descriptions apply to Knox, who spent the majority of the season’s first two months struggling to find his rhythm while coming off the bench.
David Fizdale has lengthened his leash as of late, though, embracing the Knicks’ youth movement while plying Knox with shots and playing time.
He’s averaging 15.0 points and 5.1 rebounds in 33.1 minutes per game since December 1, but shooting a poor 38.8 percent overall and a pedestrian 35.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Maybe next year.