Knicks Coach Tom Thibodeau’s Candid 4-Word Statement on Evan Fournier

Evan Fournier, New York Knicks

Getty Evan Fournier of the New York Knicks looks on during the first half against the Utah Jazz.

After a six-week, 22-game DNP streak, New York Knicks wing Evan Fournier made his return to the hardwood in a road matchup against the San Antonio Spurs.

Checking in at the 3:12 mark in the first period, the 30-year-old’s entrance into the contest was met with words of praise by the MSG Network’s lead announcer Mike Breen, who referred to him as the “ultimate professional” for his all-class demeanor since being axed from the club’s main nine-man rotation back on November 15.

Of course, Breen was not the only one to comment on Fournier’s professionalism during this nearly two month lull, as head coach Tom Thibodeau would go on to say that “he’s a true pro” during the night’s post-game media session.

“It’s a credit to him, he’s a true pro,” Thibodeau said of Fournier. “It’s not easy…but that’s what being a professional is and that’s what the expectation is.”

Fournier would go on to log just shy of 17 minutes on the night and post an impressive stat line of 11 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals on 66.7% shooting from the floor.

Ultimately, the Knicks wound up falling to the Spurs by a final score of 122-115, thus making it the team’s fifth-straight loss but, at least from the veteran swingman’s perspective, simply making his way back to in-game action could be viewed as an individual victory.

Knicks Guard ‘Trying To Be in the Moment’

Evan Fournier ended up being asked by reporters during the team’s post-game media session how he felt about finally making his way back onto the floor during their December 29 matchup against the Spurs.

While the veteran made it obvious that he’s not all that satisfied with his role with the Knicks at the moment, he would note that he’s trying to take things as they come and, ultimately, is focused on trying to help the team win.

“I’m just doing the work daily and I’m just happy that today I got a chance to play and I was just trying to be present, trying to be in the moment, and just trying to help the team win. That’s it,” Fournier told reporters.

He would go on to state that it was easier for him to go out and use his on-court skills rather than continue on with showcasing his sideline spirit, and that he’s happy to have gotten “a shot at being back out there.”

Lakers Have Called Knicks About Fournier

Though he may have just managed to work his way back onto the hardwood, in all likelihood Evan Fournier’s return to the Knicks’ rotation won’t wind up being long-lived as he’s been the focus of a bevy of trade rumors throughout the past several weeks and is viewed as one of the most likely players to be dealt before February’s deadline.

Just recently, a Western Conference executive informed Heavy Sports’ NBA Insider Sean Deveney that the Los Angeles Lakers have shown interest in pursuing the sharpshooting veteran, and went as far as to report that they’ve already made a call in New York’s direction regarding a possible trade.

According to the executive, Rob Pelinka and company are highly interested in offloading Patrick Beverley this year, though will likely have to take back a not-so-attractive contract in return to make such a move and, in their eyes, acquiring Fournier and his remaining three years, $55.8 million could be a realistic option for the franchise to consider.