Leon Rose Could Be Knicks’ Spark, Says Sixers Center Kyle O’Quinn

Knicks James Dolan

Getty James Dolan Press Conference

The New York Knicks hired Leon Rose as their new President of Basketball Operations.

Million Dollar Question: Is it a good move?

Current Philadelphia 76ers big man, Kyle O’Quinn is optimistic. A fan favorite in NYC, O’Quinn spent three seasons with the Knicks and in spite of being an hour away from the city, he still keeps his eyes on the orange and blue and is proud of their recent four-game winning streak.

“We are in the hunt,” O’Quinn told me yesterday.

O’Quinn, who’s also a Queens, New York native, discussed the Knicks’ current state, Derrick Rose flourishing with the Detroit Pistons and Carmelo Anthony’s return with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Check out our Q&A Below:

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: The Knicks brought in Leon Rose. What do you think about the management and the direction they’re going in?

Kyle O’Quinn: From all the encounters I’ve had with Leon, it’s been pretty cool and he’s also a solid dude. It’s just to get new energy in a hierarchy role like that, so hopefully everybody falls in line that’s under him. It’s kind of like he could be the spark moving forward and winning four straight is actually pretty cool no matter what team you play for. I’m more or less happy for the guys there Elfrid [Payton] and those guys that I really care about.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: You grew up a Knicks fan, Yes?

Kyle O’Quinn: Yes.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: For you, even though you play for another team and you played for the [New York] Knicks. Is it difficult to watch the team you grew up liking? Are you optimistic that things will turn around?

Philadelphia 76ers center Kyle O’Quinn (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Kyle O’Quinn: Always because you’re a fan. You know what I mean like you’re a basketball player, it’s your career, but you’re a fan for life. Whoever you commit yourself too, of course, you always want to see them do well because I know how the city is when they do well. I think with that being said, you know with me being in the NBA you always kind of find yourself checking out the stats and things like that you’re rooting for the guys who are actually on the team also the guys that work for the team. The trainers, staff, team doctors, so subconsciously I always think like that.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Who did you grow up looking up to or watching on the Knicks?

Kyle O’Quinn: Like any kid, you’re looking at whoever is on the floor the most have them be a role player and I be like man no kids look at me but Larry Johnson, Allan Houston, I’ve worked with Allan it has been tremendous, Latrell Sprewell, guys like that Stephon Marbury and my all-time favorite probably Carmelo Anthony just as a basketball player, fan and just a fan of his that was probably my favorite but and I got a chance to play with him, so that was amazing.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: You played with Derrick Rose when you were there. What was it like being his teammate and what surprised you out of all the process of him being hurt and then making a comeback it seemed like there were glances in New York where you saw flashes of it?

Kyle O’Quinn: Yeah, it’s pretty cliche to say how hard somebody works. I mean, it’s hard to stay in this league. It’s hard to compete and to see with all the accolades he had so early just continue to work to try to be as good as he is now every day, hell of a teammate, great dude, and he really cares about what he cares about and as you can see that’s his family and basketball.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: We’re seeing Carmelo Anthony getting his just due in Portland.

Kyle O’Quinn: Get his what?

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson:His Just due; like Nike Just do it.

Kyle O’Quinn: Oh yeah. I like that. Just do. Yeah, Melo deserves a spot in the NBA. He’s one of those guys who should have the privilege to play for how long until he wants to stop. He’s made that big of an impact, and he’s that kind of influence. With that being said, I’m very excited for him, and I know his family is excited. I know that he’s in a good place when he can jab-step, jab-step, then run to the corner and shoot a three.

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