Kevin Knox is 19 years old. There, I said it.
The Knicks’ rookie can’t even buy booze for two more years. He’s quite young. But age ain’t nothin’ but a number. Here’s another number: 31. That’s how many points Knox scored on Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia 76ers.
The kid had it all going, trucking fools on the fastbreak for finger rolls, bodying up Joel Embiid for layups, backdoor cutting for dunks, James Harden-style step-backing for threes. By breaking the 30-point barrier for the first time in his career, Knox joined an elite group of youngsters.
Kevin Knox is the sixth youngest player in NBA history to score at least 30 points. Kobe Bryant, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Jaren Jackson and LeBron James were younger. (Basketball reference).— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) January 13, 2019
Obviously, this makes Knox the youngest 30-point scorer in franchise history. But he is also just the fifth Knicks rookie since Mark Jackson in 1988 to score 30 in a game. Can you guess the other four? I’ll give you a hint: It’s a fairly recent occurrence (it never happened in the ‘90s).
The answer is Channing Frye, Nate Robinson, Chris Copeland and Damyean Dotson. Weird list, right? Copeland, at 29, is the oldest Knicks rookie ever to score 30 points. He was a full decade older than Knox, who, as you know, is only 19.
Believe it or not, Kristaps Porzingis never scored 30 during his sensational rookie season. In fact, KP didn’t crack the 30-point barrier until he was 21 years old. Do I have to remind you how old Kevin Knox is now?
So who was the youngest 30-point scorer in franchise history before Knox? That would be Carl Braun, who scored a staggering 47 points as a 20-year-old all the way back in 1947. Braun was no pushover: He was a five-time All-Star who lost two years of his prime serving in the Army during the Korean War. Braun remains fifth on the Knicks’ all-time scoring list.
Who knows? Maybe young Knox can pass Braun someday. And we can all think back on the first time we saw the fresh-faced 19-year-old forward score 31 at the Garden.