Bronx native and current Hornets guard Kemba Walker is set to play at Madison Square Garden when his team takes on the Knicks Sunday, one of three games between the clubs this season.
His homecoming return to New York will commence just seven months before the 28-year-old reaches free agency.
“I’ve been hearing it for years now — the Knicks,” Walker said this past August, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. “Every time I come home, it’s, ‘When are you coming home to the Knicks?’ MSG is a special place, man. The Knicks are a special team. Of course, I’ve been a Knicks fan growing up, always rooted for the home team. But I really can’t see myself in a Knicks jersey — only because I’ve been in one jersey. I really don’t know.”
The Knicks will have the cap space to sign Walker on a maximum-salary contract if the two sides express interest in each other next summer, but Hornets owner Michael Jordan is said to seriously value Walker’s services.
Walker, a former University of Connecticut standout, has averaged a career-high 25.8 points, 6.2 assists and 1.3 steals per game this season. The Knicks currently have Frank Ntilikina as the only point guard under contract next season.
“What kid doesn’t want to play in MSG?” Walker said Friday, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. “I’ve been fortunate enough to play there many, many times during my basketball career. Every chance I get to play there, I try to embrace it. I just love playing there.”
“I will always have an attachment to and a love of that city,” Walker said. “That city made me who I am today.”
There’s more out of New York today:
- Kentucky head coach John Calipari believes the critics of Kevin Knox need to be patient, Berman writes in a separate story. “He’s got to figure this stuff,” Calipari said. “I told the Knicks and everybody recruiting — they’re 19, 18, 20, not 25 years old. But what you have is a 6-9, 6-10 player who’s multi-dimensional, who can score and is just going to get better and better when he matures and physically fills out.”
- David Fizdale‘s harsh message to Frank Ntilikina was delivered, and now it’s time for Ntilikina to see more playing time, Kevin Kernan of the New York Post writes. Ntilikina played 15 minutes against the Nets on Saturday, but was benched the previous three games. Fizdale has made it clear to Ntilikina that he must earn his playing time with the team.
- Dan Feldman of NBC Sports writes an in-depth story on Allonzo Trier‘s journey to the NBA, dating back to when the 22-year-old was in grade school. Trier has averaged 11.3 points in 27 games with the Knicks this season, providing solid play on both ends of the floor.
8 thoughts on “Knicks Notes: Walker, Knox, Ntilikina, Trier”
a little self promoting by walker
Fizdale isn’t a players coach, this guy upsets everybody everywhere he goes… I thought he might have learned by now
I agree 100%
Fix is a good coach but he does leave something to be desired. Because he likes position less Basketball. He has a hard time into molding players at there chosen position or the position that fits them the best.
Fiz was at the start. I hate Auto Correct.
Auto Correct requires Manual Correction.
Kemba Walker is the free agent player that the Knicks should go after. If missing him Rondo should be signed as he can be that 10 dime a game player and he will not cost a lot. He could hold down the position till a complete point guard can be found by draft or free agency.
KW has a shot a the 35% / 5 year contract with the Hornets if he can make an All-NBA team. He’s not that level of player, but it might make sense for the Hornets to give it to him vs lose him.
If that doesn’t work out, then I would be shocked if the Knicks were not his destination of choice. I just don’t think he’s a guy the Knicks would or should max out. But they’ve kind of boxed themselves into the 2019 FA market (use it or lose it), so it’s possible.