The 2023 NBA All-Star break kicked off on Friday night with the annual Rising Stars Challenge and found taking part in the festivities was sophomore shooting guard for the New York Knicks, Quentin Grimes.
Amid a breakout season, the 22-year-old served as a key member of Team Joakim, showcasing his skills on both ends of the floor for the exhibition’s runner-ups.
Following the outing, Grimes was asked during a media session what the experience of taking part in All-Star weekend was like, and, in response, the Knicks representative was outwardly elated to have participated in the contest, describing it as “everything I imagined.”
“It was everything I imagined growing up watching it as a kid,” Grimes said. “Coming out, all the stars front row, celebrities and everything so it was everything I imagined.”
Serving as one of his club’s five starters, during their finals matchup against Team Gasol Grimes finished with a tremendous box score of 14 points and 2 blocks while shooting 62.5% from the floor and 57.1% from deep in what ultimately wound up being a 25-20 loss.
Grimes Hypes Up Knicks Big Leading Into Dunk Contest
During a media session before the Rising Stars Challenge, Grimes was seen hyping up his fellow Knicks teammate Jericho Sims heading into the weekend, as the big man will be participating in this year’s Slam Dunk Contest.
“I’ve seen a couple of the dunks he’s gonna do already so I feel like y’all are gonna be pretty surprised by what he’s gonna do tomorrow night,” Grimes said. “He’s got like two dunks that’ll get people out of their seats for sure.”
The second-year center has predominantly served as a spot starter this season for the Knicks, particularly during the ongoing absence of focal point pivot Mitchell Robinson, but heading into Saturday’s contest Sims is seen as a favorite by some experts to take home the title of NBA Slam Dunk champion.
Should he pull out the win, it would be the fifth time since the turn of the century that a member of the Knicks took home the braggadocious title, with Nate Robinson having won in 2006, 2009, and 2009 and current teammate Obi Toppin having won during last season’s All-Star weekend.
Knicks an Option for 5-Time All-Star
The Knicks may have just made a talent-bolstering move with their midseason trade for veteran wing Josh Hart prior to the February 9 deadline but CBS Sports’ Brad Botkin believes there’s a possibility that they may want to consider making one more splashy transaction this season, as he considers the franchise as being a possible landing spot for five-time All-Star Kevin Love.
“The Knicks could use a shooting big and they have open roster space. Jalen Brunson would make great use of a spacing/popping shooter like Love. The Knicks are a high-volume 3-point shooting team, but do not confuse that with being a good 3-point shooting team; only six teams connect from deep at a worse percentage,” Botkin wrote.
As first reported by ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski on February 18, Love and the Cleveland Cavaliers have officially completed a contract buyout, making the veteran an unrestricted free agent and eligible to sign with a team of his choice and, to Botkin, one possible landing spot could be the Knicks.
A 15-year NBA veteran, Love has made a name for himself as a sensational rebounding and offensive-minded big man and boasts stellar career averages of 17.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists while shooting 37.2% from distance.