Russell has already introduced you to the 2024 New York Knicks, who opened training camp today taking part in Media Day (Content Day? Meme Day?). Whatever you want to call it, one thing is for sure and that’s that other than James Harden everybody was at the podium at their respective places.
Coach Tom Thibodeau spoke. RJ Barrett spoke. Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson, Immanuel Quickley, and so on and so forth. I mean you know the mob, don’t you?
Donte DiVincenzo shares some the main points in what made him want to come to the Knicks: pic.twitter.com/ga8h2yDkyU— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) October 2, 2023
Now that I mentioned it, one of the new members of the organization, renowned World Champion (of the NBA and NCAA, just in case) Donte DiVincenzo sat at the table and introduced himself to the NYK Media.
Why choose the Knicks? Why sign a (fat) deal to play basketball in New York? “First and foremost, I’m two hours away from my family.”
One of us! One of us!
Now, obviously, DDV joined the Knicks because of all of the Villanova connections (Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart) but mostly because, as he put it, “I like to win basketball games.” Yessir.
Donte DiVincenzo discusses his possible role on the team:— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) October 2, 2023
"My focus is to win games whether I'm starting or coming off the bench, playing 20 minutes or 40 minutes... I signed a 4 year deal here, so I plan to be here long-term." pic.twitter.com/Yc1supA4m0
One interesting narrative emerging this summer following the signing of DDV and as we head toward training camp/preseason ball, is how the rotation of the Knicks will look come tip-off day and if there will be any changes at all.
DDV is in the middle of it all, and there has been some talk about whether or not he could supplant Quentin Grimes in the starting five.
“My focus is to win games whether I’m starting or coming off the bench, playing 20 minutes or 40 minutes... I signed a 4-year deal here, so I plan to be here long-term,” said DiVincenzo.
Earlier today, Thibs left the door open (h/t New York Post) for a change eventually and down the road, but that’s simply not happening when the first regular-season game comes in late October.
More intriguing was the question asked to RJ Barrett about him coming off the pine to backup Julius Handle at the power forward position instead of starting at the three. And hey, he made it sound like he wouldn’t care!
“If that were to be the case... comfortable, very comfortable in that role,” Barrett said before referencing Josh Hart, who would presumptively be (one of) his replacement in the vacated position.
RJ Barrett says that if needed, he is comfortable coming off the bench to play:— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) October 2, 2023
"Whatever we need to do to win is what we'll do... if that's what I have to do, then I'll do it. I'm very willing and glad to." pic.twitter.com/YCHL07XC4x
“Whatever we need to do to win is what we’ll do... if that’s what I have to do, then I’ll do it,” Barrett answered. “I’m very willing and glad to.”
Now, let’s get real for a minute.
If there is an important man out there with the chance to make or break the Knicks season this year that’s former Sixth Man of the Year Runner-Up-But-Real-Winner Immanuel Quickley.
That might not actually depend on him, mind you, with the Knicks able to offer him an extension in the next few days (the deadline is set on Oct. 24, the day before the start of the regular season) but still unclear about what to do next. IQ is under contract through June 2024, so he will be in New York (we can only hope) for the time being.
Asked about the aforementioned extension, Quickley simply said that he’s been “locked in getting better and helping NYK win games,” as quoted by Ian Begley of SNY.
Immanuel Quickley was asked if the idea of a contract extension has crossed his mind:— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) October 2, 2023
"Honestly I've just been doing what I normally do, which is working hard every single day to get better. I let my agent pretty much handle all that stuff, but I've just been locked in." pic.twitter.com/ncIKS5aBrv
“Whatever happens, happens,” Quickley said when asked if he really expects an offer before the start of the regular season.
Quickley knows what’s poppin’ and he knows the NBA is a ruthless business, and he lived it closely this summer when the Knicks parted ways with former Slam Dunk Champ Obi Toppin sending the big boy to Indianapolis.
“It’s a business, it happens,” IQ said.
When it comes to his role, Thibodeau said “I love the versatility of [Quickley and DiVincenzo]” (h/t Kris Pursianinen) when asked about the idea of the new addition to the Knicks rotation leading the team as the point guard off the bench.
Thibs acknowledged “We will mix and match,” which he might have said on purpose to force the front office’s hand into offering IQ a new deal during the next couple of weeks... or just because it’s Silly Day and he had to bla-bla his way out of the affair.