Following bouts with both Los Angeles teams this weekend, the New York Knicks will put a cap on a difficult Western Conference road swing on Tuesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers. In doing so, they’ll be reuniting with an old cohort in Cam Reddish.
Of course, one would be hard-pressed to actually refer to him in that way. The former No. 10 overall pick was hardly given a chance to play by Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau during his brief stay in the Big Apple before the team saw fit to ship him to PDX in the deadline trade that netted Josh Hart.
Ahead of the upcoming contest, the New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy asked Reddish about his experience with Thibodeau and the Knicks. And, clearly, he’s ecstatic to be out of the situation.
“It was tough but at the same time, it ain’t even about basketball,” Reddish told the Daily News. “It had nothing to do with basketball. It was all the politics, all the favoritism. S**t like that. That’s why I wasn’t too worried about it.”
Former Knick Cam Reddish Speaks Out on the Night & Day Difference Between His Hoops Life Now & Then
Reddish opted not to give additional details on what may have been happening behind the scenes when he was with the Knicks. But he had no qualms about breaking down the differences between what he felt then compared to now with the Blazers.
“I’m in a completely different place. Now I’m blessed. Not everybody gets another opportunity so it’s refreshing,” said Reddish. “I got some great teammates. Great staff. It’s real positive around here. Win, lose or draw. It’s not somebody beating you over your head — not that that was happening in New York — but it’s more my style.”
The numbers would seem to back that notion. As of this writing, Reddish has made 12 appearances for Portland (including 10 starts) and averaged 13.8 points, 3.2 boards, 2.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Meanwhile, he has connected on 38.2% of his nearly six tries nightly from behind the arc.
That latter mark is a big deal considering Reddish was below 29% on three-point attempts in New York. According to the 23-year-old, he’s being empowered as a shooter in a way that he wasn’t under Thibs.
“I can shoot a shot — and in New York, I feel like I HAD to make it,” Reddish revealed. “I know I’m not the only person that felt like that… Now I can relax and play my game. You’re going to see it. The more I’m on the court, the more I’m going to grow and play. I’m happy.”
Knicks Get Good News on the Jalen Brunson Front
Whether it was directly related or not, there’s no denying that Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson went on a tear after his exclusion from the All-Star festivities in Salt Lake City last month. The floor general averaged 27.3 points, 6.0 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game in February, leading his team to a 9-2 record in the process.
As a result, the league office saw fit to recognize him as the Player of the Month in the Eastern Conference. More recently, though, Brunson has missed three of his team’s last four games due to a left foot injury.
According to Thibodeau, though, nothing serious is, well… afoot.
Reported Newsday’s Steve Popper: “Thibodeau said that Brunson had an x-ray, which was negative. Calling it a bruise.”