The New York Knicks enter the NBA season with a brand spanking new roster!
Back in June the orange and blue drafted RJ Barrett.
Selected third overall by the New York Knicks’ in June’s NBA Draft, Barrett posted 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game while at Duke University.
Some peg RJ Barrett as a potential NBA Rookie of the Year.
Appearing on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning with Laura Stylez, Peter Rosenberg and Ebro Darden, Stephen A. Smith analyzed their offseason.
“I don’t think people want to hear about the Knicks,” he joked.
“I think that we need to be honest about that when you miss out on KD and Kyrie.”
Many thought Kevin Durant joining the New York Knicks was a done deal.
He was surely the team’s primary target in free agency and it was believed that he and Irving were a packaged deal.
Durant had many ties to the organization. His business partner, Rich Kleiman, the co-founder and partner in Durant’s The Durant Company and Thirty Five Media, grew up a huge Knicks fan.
Durant also mentored Knicks forward, a Seattle, Washington native, when Triier was in high school and Durant was a member of the Seattle Sonics before they moved to Oklahoma and became the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Knicks assistant coach, Royal Ivey and Durant are best friends. A Harlem native, the two were Texas Longhorns teammates in college and were Oklahoma City Thunder teammates for three years in the NBA.
KD is also the godfather of Ivey’s daughter, Lyric Ella.
KD has other plans. So did Kyrie Irving who also joined Brooklyn via free agency.
A West Orange, New Jersey native, Irving grew up liking the then-New Jersey Nets when they ran the NBA’s Eastern Conference during the days of Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson.
Irving was a fan of Kidd.
“Watching him play was a pleasure,” Irving told me of Kidd when he was hired as head coach of Brooklyn back in 2013.
“His IQ. Just watching the way he plays the game. Not many people have that niche and that feel for the game.”
As a kid, Irving watched that Nets team make back to back trips to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003. Ironically, the Nets were coached by Byron Scott who lived in Livingston, NJ; a town next door to West Orange.
KD and Kyrie didn’t pan out but the Knicks are still plan to grind it out this year.
“Of course the Nets got two good superstars this summer,” he told me Monday night while on a panel discussing Puma’s Clyde Hardwood Sneaker alongside Knicks legend Walt Clyde Frazier and Knicks teammate, RJ Barrett.
“But it just fuels the fire for us.”
NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal tells me he likes what the Nets are doing. “Jay-Z gave them a little steam when he said he was the owner,” Shaq told Scoop B Radio.
“He’s going to be there with KD so they should make a lot of noise. Only unfortunate part for the first time in New York history the Knicks aren’t the important team. That’s kind of funny to me.”
Meanwhile back at the ranch: Stephen A. Smith tells Ebro in the Morning that the Knicks will be better this coming season.
“Here’s the thing, the Knicks are actually going to be better,” he said.
“Because some of the parts that they got defineteley and they didn’t strap themselves to any bad, long term contracts. So there’s still the prospects of a decent future.”
The Knicks open up training camp at the end of this month.
The 2019-2020 NBA season begins next month.