The Knicks made it through Day 2 of their abbreviated 2020-21 training camp Wednesday. They made a few veteran players available for interviews — certainly not the sexiest group for the fans, but whatever.
We begin with Elfrid Payton, who finished last season and will probably begin this season as the starting point guard.
I asked Elfrid Payton if he is confident he will start after all the noise about a new PG coming in. "It’s not for me to pick who starts. It’s not for me to care about what other people are saying. I control what I can control.''— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) December 2, 2020
It would take a miracle for Payton not to wind up with the starting PG role on Opening Night. These are the Knicks, after all, and Elf is the quintessential Knicks vet starting PG. I have an irrational hatred of Elf’s game, but he’s not terrible. Whatever...please don’t play him alongside Julius Randle, though.
Another candidate for the coveted role of “veteran guard who earns too many minutes” is Austin Rivers. The son of Doc said all the right things about bringing the Garden back to prominence.
Austin Rivers on the decision to join the Knicks - he said he had three or four playoff teams interested but felt building something in NY was different. pic.twitter.com/1t5d7BJLoC— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) December 2, 2020
Austin Rivers points to the 2018-19 Clippers when asked what it will take for the Knicks to become an attractive destination:— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) December 2, 2020
"Superstars wanted to go there because they knew the role players they had were solid" pic.twitter.com/C4G5vGSvnd
While some cynics like Jeffrey Bellone have noted that Rivers probably signed with the Knicks because they promised him more playing time, he surely strikes a chord with fans who are sick of seeing stars jump to easier situations. Cheers, Austin. I’ll root for you until you are playing too much while Immanuel Quickley is stapled to the bench.
Shooting guard Alec Burks is all about the MSG aura.
Alec Burks is excited to play at MSG:— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) December 2, 2020
"I love the city of New York, I love that whole aura of New York basketball" pic.twitter.com/Wj8sVTwDJP
Seriously though, it’ll be kind of sad for those veterans who only play here for one season if they never get the full Garden experience, fans and all. It’ll be like the two years in the 70s when the Yankees were renovating Yankee Stadium and they had to play all their home games at Shea.
Let’s hope we get some more interesting players tomorrow. Rivers was cool, though.