The summer of 2022 was busy for Knicks guard Evan Fournier. Players usually work on their craft in the offseason and rest before the new season begins. For the 29-year-old, the summer is the time he often represents his country.
Fournier is the captain of the French men’s national basketball team and helped lead France to the EuroBasket final where the team would face Spain. France would end up losing to Spain in the gold medal game, earning Fournier and his fellow French teammates silver medals.
The Frenchman played well for his country during the tournament. He averaged 15.3 points and scored 23 points in the final game against Spain. While Fournier left Europe with a medal around his neck, he wished it would’ve been gold when speaking to media post-practice about finishing in second place.
“Yeah it was tough,” Fournier said. “It was a very competitive EuroBasket and there were a lot of upsets. We were able to make it to the final. To come up short, it has a different feeling than last year in the Olympics.”
Fournier referenced the Summer Olympics that took place last year where France also lost in the gold medal game against the U.S. men’s national basketball team. He credited the U.S. team, stating that they were very good and if it weren’t for superstar player Kevin Durant, France would’ve won gold in Tokyo. The French captain also believes that the team didn’t play their best in the EuroBasket final.
Fournier Looking Forward to Preseason
Now coming off EuroBasket, Fournier is excited for NBA action to start this week. The Knicks will go up against the Detroit Pistons in their first preseason game at Madison Square Garden.
Now going into his 11th season, the sharpshooter has an advantage over his teammates due to him already being in game shape, as he was playing in a highly competitive tournament.
“I can’t wait actually, not that I don’t like practices but I enjoy games a little bit more,” Fournier said when asked about his anticipation to go up against other teams. “It’s going to be good to be at the Garden again and get a feel for our group. We’re hoopers so games are fun.”
Fournier’s first season as a Knick last year was decent. After scoring 32 points in his first game as a Knick against the Boston Celtics last season, Fournier’s shooting was inconsistent at times and he struggled on the defensive end.
His shooting vastly improved during the second half of last season, as he broke the Knicks franchise record for most three-pointers in a season with 241 threes, passing John Starks’ previous record of 217 threes that was set in the 1994-1995 season.
Overall, Fournier finished last regular season with averages of 14.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists.
Grimes Out Against Pistons
Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau told the media that second-year guard Quentin Grimes would miss the first preseason game against the Detroit Pistons due to a sore left foot.
Grimes has been sidelined for a week and was seen wearing a walking boot on his left foot during the second day of training camp practice.
With Grimes’ current injury, this puts him in a predicament in terms of fighting for a spot in the starting lineup. Thibodeau already stated that Fournier was the ‘frontrunner’ for the starting shooting guard position.
It’s more likely that Knicks forward Cam Reddish will get a good look against the Pistons with Grimes out. Reddish is trying to make a case for a solidified spot in the rotation. A strong performance in the preseason will help his case.