Kevin Knox’s life changed Thursday night when he walked across the stage at the NBA Draft after being announced as the newest member of the New York Knicks.
Knox was happy. Knicks fans? Not so much. Many of them at the draft were hoping it’d be Michael Porter Jr. walking across the stage, and they let their displeasure be seen and heard.
Knicks kid not feeling the Kevin Knox pick pic.twitter.com/QgA5HBL4TV— gifdsports (@gifdsports) June 22, 2018
(That’s the same kid that cried when they drafted Kristaps Porzingis).
Knox heard the boos, and heard people chanting for Porter, but he was cool with it.
“They booed Porzingis and look where he is now,” Knox said. “That’s the same mindset I’m going to have. They can chant Michael Porter all they want. But they got Kevin Knox, and I’m willing to work and I’m willing to get better.
Knox also called it “motivation” that the fans wanted Porter.
Knox need not worry about it, though. It’s pretty much impossible to make Knicks fans happy.
"Unbelievable. I can't believe they did this." @treykerby with @nyknicks fans after they drafted Kevin Knox with the No. 9 overall pick . #NBADraft pic.twitter.com/WI46uw4rb6— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 22, 2018
And the Knicks were confident that Knox was who they wanted with the ninth pick, citing his competitiveness as a big reason for taking him.
We knew there was something special, not just about his basketball abilities — the length, the athleticism, his ability to play the game the way Coach [David] Fizdale wants to coach and the way the current NBA is going — but there’s also a competitiveness inside this kid that doesn’t show up all the time in his demeanor,” Knicks President Steve Mills said in Knox’s introductory press conference. “We sat and talked to him and listened to how he interacted with five other players through dinner and different conversations and there’s a competitive sense that we knew was the right fit here in New York. That’s how we decided he was the right guy to go with.”
Knox showed that competitiveness by participating in group workouts and going at other college prospects, rather than working out individually.
As for the Knicks fans’ taste, it’s kind of a head-scratcher. Porter and Knox are both being drafted based on their upside, and Porter’s medical history is a mile long. Knox’s best college highlight is this:
Kevin Knox burning the house down. 34 points. Yowza! pic.twitter.com/ETrxaUki1e— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) January 28, 2018
Kevin Knox slam off the baseline out of bounds lob from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. pic.twitter.com/sJrJd9pA0I— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) February 7, 2018
Porter’s best college highlight is this:
Reasons not to take Michael Porter Jr.: weird injury history, wasn’t impressive in only appearances last year, didn’t get along with teammates.— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) June 22, 2018
Reasons to take Michael Porter Jr.: certified baddie spotter. pic.twitter.com/lFzI1FeUYn
We’ll see if Knox can make Knicks fans love him like Porzingis did.