The Knicks are the worst team in the NBA and just traded the face of the franchise, but New York received some good news on Wednesday when the NBA announced that Kevin Knox will replace injured Los Angeles Laker Lonzo Ball in the Rising Stars game.
The 19-year-old rookie, who was originally snubbed and is currently the best tangible thing the Knicks have going for them, is putting up 12.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game so far this year, good for seventh among NBA rookies. He’ll play on the U.S. team in the Rising Stars game on Friday, Feb. 15, replacing Ball, who hasn’t played since spraining his ankle against the Houston Rockets on Jan. 19.
The honor is well-deserved. Knox, picked 9th in last year’s draft, was the NBA’s Eastern Conference rookie of the month for December with averages of 17.1 points and 6 rebounds per game. In January, he became the sixth youngest player in NBA history to score at least 30 points in a game, behind only Kobe Bryant, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Jaren Jackson and LeBron James. He’s made 76 threes this year, which ties him for fifth among NBA neophytes, and has scored 20 or more eight times.
His shooting percentages aren’t exactly at Steph Curry levels (Knox is shooting 37 overall from the field, 34 percent from three and 71 percent from the free throw line), but he has bounced back from a bumpy start to the year to display a tantalizing tool kit of talents.
Sometimes, Knox euro steps like he’s best friends with Manu Ginobili.
Every so often, he rises for dunks that remind you he’s 6’9” and can jump like his feet are made out of trampoline.
When his three ball is falling, it’s like looking at a rainbow being formed in right front of your eyes.
His flagship play is probably his floater, which is so beautiful that you actually shouldn’t stare at it too long.
His defense can definitely leave something to be desired, but someone should probably file a trademark for the phrase “Knox Blocks.”
Kevin Knox swat off glass. pic.twitter.com/nFruX47RSU— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) February 6, 2019
Kevin Knox with the huge swat off glass and then goes coast to coast. pic.twitter.com/cJxQlx6dfy— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) December 13, 2018
Knox is well-suited to succeed in the Rising Stars game, and he should provide some more highlights for Knicks fans to drool over as we mull the meaning of existence. The honor will also give Knox the chance to make some small talk with the NBA’s very best players, such as, I don’t know, hmm….how about Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving?
Joining Knox at All-Star Weekend will be Dennis Smith Jr., one of the newest Knicks who was acquired as part of the Porzingis trade. Smith Jr., who is apparently cool with J. Cole, will participate in the Slam Dunk Contest. He’s got serious ups.
Dennis Smith Jr. bounced it to himself for a dunk!— SB Nation (@SBNation) April 4, 2018
ARE YOU SERIOUSpic.twitter.com/JOWyibgIdb
The Dunk Contest takes place on Sunday, Feb. 17, and Smith Jr. will be competing against John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks, Miles Bridges of the Charlotte Hornets, and Hamidou Diallo of the Oklahoma City Thunder. They’ll all be blown to smithereens by Smith Jr.’s explosive and delicious jams.
Good luck to our precious Knicks, and thank you to the NBA for scheduling an All-Star Weekend so that almost all of our players can get some rest as they prepare to continue piloting the league’s most efficient tank.