No, this isn’t déjà vu. Posting and Toasting dot com got to interview Kevin Knox for a second time this year!
(Here’s the first interview with Chiniqua if you missed it!)
I got an email from Tissot earlier last week asking if I’d like to come to Times Square on Sunday and interview Knox. As a seasoned New Jersey-to-New York commuter, I knew that I’d be taking my life into my own hands by entering the heart of Consumerville during peak holiday shopping and tourism time, but I figured meeting Kev would be well worth it.
And then, well, you know...
So one could say that this interview at Tissot was...
...right on time.
Suffice to say, I was pretty excited! I drove in from Jersey and got stuck in an inordinate amount of traffic getting into the Lincoln Tunnel for a Sunday night (luckily, I left home early). But then once I got there, I realized that Knox also got stuck in traffic (celebrities, they’re just like us!) and was running a little late, so it was all good.
I hung around and got acquainted with my fellow media folks, Jonathan Lehman from the New York Post and Mike Vivalo from Elite Sports NY. And then Kev arrived to a round of applause and got fixed up with his Tissot Knicks watch:
Kev getting his Tissot Knicks watch on pic.twitter.com/eWO2qNiBqu— Alex Wolfe (@thealexwolfe) December 2, 2018
I was preceded by Mike, as well as his son Julian, which was just adorable:
(I’m sure that video will be up soon enough, keep your eyes peeled.)
Next came Jonathan, and then I got to bat third. So without further ado, here’s my exclusive interview with Kevin Knox:
Alex Wolfe: It’d be kind of nuts to not bring up last night to start the conversation, right? So tell me about last night at the Garden — you had said just the other day that you were going through some struggles since your ankle injury. What kind of let you break out of that funk last night, was it a mindset thing?
Kevin Knox: I mean, I just kept working hard. I never got too low on myself. I struggled, but I never quit, never gave up. I just wanted to make sure that I kept going to practice, working hard every single day, getting up extra work, extra shots. So I just made sure the mentality was right, I knew my time was going to come. And last night I was able to get out there and get that win with my teammates, play really well. So I’ve just got to be able to keep that momentum up and keep that confidence up.
AW: Do you think the long layoff between the Philly game and the game last night kind of helped you out, to be able to really get your mind straight for that game?
KK: Yeah, I think that helped the team out. I mean, we came back off Detroit and Philly back-to-back — two playoff teams, basically — and to be able to come back home, it was a great win for us. We needed that day off and then had that practice day so we could re-gather ourselves and regroup as a team. And we came out last night against a playoff team and one of the best players in the league and played really well against them.
AW: You’ve talked at times about Giannis and how you kind of look up to how he plays the game. Did it mean something to you last night to be able to go out there and put on the performance that you did against him and against his team?
KK: Yeah, in Milwaukee, we played them and I didn’t travel on that trip because of my ankle injury, so I wasn’t able to play against him. But I was really excited to play against him last night, he’s one of the players I really look up to in the NBA. So I mean, he’s one of the players I watched a lot of film on. So it was really cool to be out there on the court with him.
AW: So, back when my colleague China interviewed you at a different event a few weeks ago, you said that you thought that playing at Kentucky prepared you pretty well for New York. Do you still feel that way, or was there some sort of moment where now you’re like, “Wow, this is the NBA. I’m in the NBA now, I’m not in college anymore.”?
KK: Yeah, I mean, college is different. There’s better players in the NBA, of course. But as far as like, atmosphere-wise and stuff like that, Kentucky is probably one of the most-watched teams in college basketball. Every time they’re on TV, everyone is watching. They’re one of the top teams, top games all of the time on ESPN. So it kind of prepared me for the bright lights and this kind of environment here in New York. So it was fun, playing at Kentucky, and hopefully it keeps translating to the NBA.
AW: I know you live up in White Plains, but have you had your “welcome to New York” moment yet in the city or anything?
KK: Nah, not yet. With the season going on, I’m not really that much in the city like that unless I’m going to the Garden. But hopefully in the summer I’ll get to come up here, explore some more restaurants and some more stores around here.
AW: So I’ve got to ask, what’s your general assessment of Fizdale so far? Because it’s kind of refreshing from a fan perspective to see a coach that it seems like everybody is really enthusiastic going out there every night for and really playing hard for.
KK: Yeah, I mean, he has a lot of confidence in his players. He really trusts all of us. He’s going to throw you in there if you’re playing really well, he’s going to keep playing you if you struggle. There’s something about him, he has a lot of confidence and a lot of faith in his players, and he’s going to make sure that we work hard, that we grind every day. He’s going to make sure that we’re always taken care of. So I mean, it’s always good to have a coach like that. He’s probably one of the best coaches I’ve ever had.
AW: That’s awesome, that’s good to hear. Quickly, because I want to get onto my last couple questions, but: what are the differences between how Fiz approaches things and how Coach Cal approached things at Kentucky? Do you find there’s a difference between how they approach it?
KK: Uh, no, not really. I mean, they both get along with their players really well. Cal does a little bit more yelling and a little bit more screaming than Fiz does. But Fiz is really intense, and Cal is really intense, too. So I mean, they have a lot of similarities and some differences.
AW: So, now, I should talk a little about Tissot since we’re here in the Tissot store. So you’re pretty into fashion, you’ve got the new, fresh Knicks watch on here. Have you felt that your fashion game has kind of increased since moving here and getting into the NBA?
KK: Oh yeah, I mean, New York’s known for their fashion, they’ve got a lot of great stores out here that are known for having a lot of good clothes and stuff like that. So coming out here in New York, I think it really helped me a lot, my fashion’s really gotten better. I’m really into fashion and clothes and stuff like that, so coming to New York really helped me out with that.
I’m here with Tissot, really great watch company. I mean, the official watch of the NBA and the New York Knicks. They have a lot of great watches. It really helps out with fashion. I’ve never really been into watches like that, so being able to be here with Tissot, I can get some watches and take them home with me.
AW: And then lastly, you signed with Puma, which is obviously Clyde Frazier’s brand. Do you feel like it’s kind of cool to carry the torch, so to speak, from him with that?
KK: Yeah, that’s crazy. I mean, he played for the New York Knicks, he has a lifetime deal with Puma, and I was able to sign with Puma as well. He’s got a lot of great stuff coming, he’s a really good guy. I talk to him all the time. So it’s really cool to be able to pass that torch on to me so I can be able to hold the brand and play for the Knicks as well.