Preface: Kevin Knox is a rookie for the New York Knicks. He wants to document his first year in the NBA so he can look back at the end of his hall-of-fame career 20 years from now. He is a huge fan of Posting & Toasting ever since he met our intrepid reporter China in the off-season. Knox reached out to the editorial staff to ask if contributor Drew Steele can help put to words the thoughts running through the rookie’s head in a journal. Knox said, “Drew Steele is the most talented writer on the Internet covering the NBA. I’ve never read anyone like him as I’m not entirely sure if he is a genius or an idiot.” This preface was totally not written by Drew, and the words below are 100 percent from Kevin Knox. Please enjoy the latest Posting & Toasting exclusive series.
Journal Entry One. Star Date 304205.59 BJK (Before James Kirk). Well, my first game is officially in the books. We absolutely crushed the Atlanta Hawks, winning by 19 points at home. Not gonna lie, I was quite nervous. You can never tell by my face as I hide my emotions like a Vulcan, but shit man, those butterflies were making my tummy rumble. I’m relieved that the game is over.
Was disappointed in not starting, but I think it will be the best for me moving forward. I was forcing the issue too much in the preseason. Coach Big Daddy Fiz told me after the last preseason game to just “let the game come to me.” Those wise generic coach words really resonated with me. Well, maybe not that part of what Coach told me. He followed up by comparing my situation to the Prime Directive in Star Trek. Coach said, “You were trying to force your shots like Captain Kirk constantly forced his values on developing, pre-space-travel civilizations.” I’m a big Trekkie, so this really resonated with me. James T. Kirk really wasn’t accepting of other alien cultures. I was forcing the issue like Kirk forced Earth zeitgeists onto other Class-M planets.
Unfortunately, the excellent, spirit-lifting pep talk before the game didn’t yield many good results. Like I mentioned before, I was really nervous. My first NBA regular season game was at a sold old Madison Square Garden. The Mecca! The energy was wild. Kentucky has a good crowd and there was pressure to succeed there, but it simply did not compare to what it was like inside MSG to open up the season.
I came in at just after the six-minute mark for Lance and the fan erupted. Right then and there, I realized I wanted to make an impression and keep that energy going. But what Coach told me before the game was in my head, yelling at me loudy. This internal battle between the rational and the emotional was just like Bones and Spock arguing their positions on a subject to Captain Kirk when faced with a dilemma.
Because of that internal conflict, I blew an easy layup on my first shot attempt. Frank set me up perfectly and I did not know how I wanted to finish. That type of indecisiveness is what got me into trouble in the preseason. Fortunately, I immediately followed that missed layup with a steal.
Things really weren’t working for me. I kept pushin’ and pushin’, taking shots that I could get, and they just were not falling. I did manage to hit two of my three floater attempts, and my miss was a Kobe assist to Noah, so at least that was a plus? Coach was certainly happy on that And-1 floater from the foul line.
The floater is something I’m going to really have to utilize as I still need to learn how to finish through contact (gotta get stronger) and with my left hand. I blew and easy left-handed layup in transition. Shit, if I only committed to getting to the hoop on that play instead of wavering a bit. That one is really going to bother me. Well, going 1–5 in the restricted area is actually going to bother me.
The clip above isn’t the missed transition layup, but it’s a missed layup nonetheless and demonstrates what I need to work on throughout the course of this year and next off-season. I’m still overwhelmed with emotions from the game and not completely thinking straight and totally not Drew downloading the wrong video.
You know what else is gonna bother me tonight? Going 1–4 from three despite having some good looks
But guess what, man? We won! We fuckin’ won this game! And quite frankly, that’s what matters most.
The locker room after the game was a blast. We hyped up Timmy for sonnin’ that bum Kent Bazemore. 31 points on 60.7 percent true shooting, six rebounds, and five assists?!?! That’s how you come through! And shit, DID YOU SEE ISO ZO YAM IT!?!?!?!?!
After celebrating the victory, things began to be what they usually are. Enes was as gregarious as usual, Lance was reading the latest copy of the New Yorker (people still read paper magazines?), Frank was listening to the latest Lykke Li album. Frank really likes her. Been listening to that album non-stop. Ron was doing some strange yoga poses to decompress, but that’s Ron for ya. I quickly took a shower to get ready for all the media questions that I needed to answer. As much as I want to make the reporters uncomfortable with my musk, it is just unprofessional to smell like one of Ron’s used hot yoga towels.
The questions were generic as usual. No one really asks anything interesting, but even if they did, PR just tells us to keep everything as cookie-cutter as possible. It’s whatever for right now, but this is something that’s going to pain me later down the road. I can just sense it now. But I did mention that I was nervous. That was the most I was allowed to reveal.
After the media was done asking questions, I packed my things and went out with Frank, Zo, Mitch, and Courtney Lee to Gray’s Papaya. I had three hot dog sandwiches with chili and cheese and a pineapple juice. The guys were making fun of me for saying “hot dog sandwiches” but hot dogs are sandwiches, dammit! Courtney Lee just ordered a coffee.
Next game is Friday at Brooklyn, so I’m gonna pen that in as a win. Frank crushes the Nets. D’lo and that Dinwiddie have so many issues on offense when Frank guards them. I’m really hoping to see the ball go in the basket more. Not gonna lie, I could use seeing that net swish. Also hoping that Coach puts me in situations to get me some easy looks, like some catch-and-shoot shots to get things rolling. From there I can attack some closeouts and drive to the hoop in rhythm.
As frustrating as these past six games have been, I know I’m gonna bounce back and see my shot fall. My jumper is too pretty for me not to drain them. Maybe less aiming and just going with the flow will work. Need to stay out of my own head and just play the game. Maybe watching some Star Trek: The Next Generation will help. I can focus my frustration onto Wesley Crusher as an outlet for release.