Media Day isn’t always a walk in the park when it comes to the New York Knicks.
Who could forget just last year when a certain former Knicks center (may OAKAAK rules never ever apply to him, thank you basketball gods) turned things borderline PG-13 at the same event?
(Side note: I can count no fewer than about five guys in that article from last year that I’d be fine never having wear a Knick uniform again.)
This year was a lot different. There was basically no talk of playoffs whatsoever. Sure, this team wants to win more this year, but they’re not setting the bar exceedingly high for a second straight season.
Fiz on playoffs:— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) September 30, 2019
“I’ll just say this — our guys in there are coming in here expecting to win games and trying to win games. So when the dust settles, of course that’s where we want to be. But at the end of the day, we’re not sitting here throwing that in [their] face every day."
Of course, free agency came up, and the Knicks were pretty steadfast in their assertion that things are just fine and went more or less exactly according to plan this offseason:
“We all know free agency is a very fluid process in the NBA,’’ Mills said. “One thing we know is what’s important is that for you to control the things that you can control. And guys make decisions about where they want to play, and those are things they come to on our own. What you have to do is be prepared and control the things that you can control. And what we’re most proud about is we put ourselves in a position and planned in a way that on the opening day of free agency we had six guys who were important to us, that we were lined up to meet with.”
“There were a lot of max type players that we could have met with, that were interested in coming here,’’ Mills claimed. “We had a certain way that we wanted to build this team. This is how we chose to build it.”
I mean, I suppose it’s possible the Knicks could’ve swayed a Tobias Harris- or Khris Middleton-level free agent away from their incumbent teams, but it’s a little hard to believe at this stage that they simply chose not to use their cap space on max-level free agents this summer. Whatever, not worth harping on.
How about Julius Randle?
Randle continued: “I think since like my second time in the league, that was my first time playing at MSG… That feeling has always kinda stuck with me. If I ever had a chance to play in NY... if I ever had a chance to play for the Knicks it would be a no-brainer for me."— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) September 30, 2019
That’s the type of content I’m here for! Randle is legitimately a max-ish level player, and he very much wanted to come here in free agency. It’s the first time that can really be said since Amar’e Stoudemire (who possibly came here just because the Suns wouldn’t give him an uninsured contract with his knees, but that’s another story entirely).
Randle also had very nice things to say about Mitchell Robinson:
Randle on Mitchell Robinson: “Mitch has no clue how talented he is. How good he can be. Me being a leader of this team, I’m definitely going to push him to try to maximize his potential. That’s a kid I’m extremely excited to play with day in and day out."— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) September 30, 2019
Marcus Morris was a fun quote, including the yearly tradition of Knicks calling themselves and their teammates dawgs:
He also kinda sorta shed some light on what led him to choose the Knicks over the Spurs after already making a commitment to San Antonio:
Morris on choosing the Knicks cont.: "So New York came about and I saw the opportunity, East coast, the Mecca, and I’m from Philly like I said. And the biggest thing is, not I think, I know they embrace guys like myself."— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) September 30, 2019
The point guard competition between Dennis Smith Jr., Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina definitely seems like it’s going to be a thing:
"I like it. We're 2-3 deep at every position. Everyone's going to come with their hard hat on. We're going to compete at a high level." @Dennis1SmithJr on the PG competition— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) September 30, 2019
And DSJ’s jumper? Apparently it’s coming along! Or DSJ is at least confident that it’s coming along, which is something.
Dennis Smith Jr. on his jumper: “In Vegas I was super confident in it, nothing’s changed now. I still put a lot of work in. So the confidence is still there, it’s still growing."— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) September 30, 2019
Frank didn’t take the mic, but Knicks brass definitely took notice of his play during the FIBA World Cup for France:
Perry on Frank:— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) September 30, 2019
“First of all about Frank, very happy to see how he performed in the World Cup. Watched a number of his games very closely, and you can see him gaining confidence, which is a very important thing. You hope that carries over here at the start of training camp."
RJ Barrett, surprisingly, gave kind of a mundane, player-speak interview compared to his usually more outspoken nature. But hey, we’ve got a whole season ahead for good quotes.
RJ Barrett: “I want coach to be tough on me. That’s the only way. I feel like if you’re pushed, and you have a coach that’s on you, it’s going to make you play better. I feel like I’ll learn faster that way."— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) September 30, 2019
By the way, Kevin Knox is YOLKED, BABY:
Can't focus on what Knox is saying because my dude is too swole pic.twitter.com/jMYJzQ82lI— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) September 30, 2019
"It looks like I put on a lot of weight but I didn’t," Kevin Knox said of his sophomore season for the Knicks. "I gained some muscle… Last year I was a little bit skinny."— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) September 30, 2019
Knox says he was at 215 pounds last year and now he's at 218. pic.twitter.com/rLsUhELHuz
And he and the rest of the Knicks are getting along great:
A Knicks social media person started a text chain for the Knicks players to get to know each other. It's thriving apparently.— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) September 30, 2019
"Lots of laughs and funs," Knox said. "Lots of Sunday night football... It's a fun group chat."
Mitchell Robinson didn’t take questions during the press conference, but he did continue his streak as the resident class clown for the Knicks:
And lastly, here’s a couple beautiful pics to use as wallpapers on your phone. Thanks, Knicks! Preseason can’t start soon enough.