Kentucky head coach John Calipari, who has a long-standing relationship with new Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose, said today on a conference call that he thinks Rose is the right man for the job in New York, per Scott Thompson and Ian Begley of SNY.tv. While Calipari acknowledged that changes within the organization might not happen overnight, he’s confident that Rose will do a “great job” and will eventually get the Knicks on the right path.
“He’s a gatherer,” Calipari said. “And I believe that’s what the Knicks need right now, a gather who can bring things together and make it a culture that players want to be in because they know, ‘This is about all of us.'”
Calipari also spoke at length about former Kentucky forward Kevin Knox, who has struggled thus far in his two NBA seasons. As Danny Abriano of SNY.tv relays, Calipari said he has seen “glimpses” from Knox at the NBA level and believes the 20-year-old is still going through an adjustment period.
“It’s going to take time. What you don’t want to do — and teams have done this in that league — they give up on a young, young player too soon,” Calipari said. “And now all of a sudden, the guy comes back and they look and the whole thing in New York will be, ‘Well, what if we had him? We gave him away. We should have held on longer. Why did we do that?'”
Here’s more on the Knicks:
- Mike Vornukov of The Athletic identifies six ways the Knicks will be affected by the NBA’s hiatus, including its impact on the team’s coaching search, draft prep, and free agency period. As Vornukov points out, the Knicks beating Atlanta in their last game before the break will cost them in the lottery standings if the regular season doesn’t resume.
- Ignas Brazdeikis, who only appeared in nine games for the Knicks as a rookie in 2019/20, would have gotten a chance at regular minutes down the stretch after the NBA G League season ended, sources tell Marc Berman of The New York Post. “That was the plan — join the team, get an opportunity,” one source told Berman. “The Knicks were happy with his development. He kept a real positive mentality, kept his head down and was excited about the opportunity.”
- Former NBA head coach Rick Pitino tells Steve Selby of The New York Post that he was shocked by Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant signing with Brooklyn without even meeting with the Knicks. “The Knicks today, it’s not like the old days, where everybody dreamed of playing at Madison Square Garden,” Pitino said. “… The Knick organization is going through difficult times, but hopefully they got the right leadership now and they’ll turn it around.”