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Off-Court Knicks: Country Boy Mitch, DiVo, Brunson, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift!

Plenty of interesting things happening outside Madison Square Garden.

Michigan v Villanova Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A lot of NBA stuff happens on the basketball court, nearly on a daily basis, for months on end. Much (much) more takes place outside of it. And I’m not talking about the draft, the free agency, and all of that.

I’m talking about this thing we call “life,” you know, this thing that happens while we die. Hoops matchups last for 48 minutes of actual playing time, around two hours of on-air broadcasting, but after that’s over, our beloved players, coaches, and staffers go home and enjoy their free time; just like you, just like me (not really), just like everybody else.

So, here is a little peep into the lives of Mitchell Robinson, Donte DiVincenzo, Jalen Brunson... and Taylor Swift/Justin Bieber by extension?

Mitchell Robinson, Cool Country Boy

If you follow the Knicks more than a casual fan does, then you already know Mitchell Robinson as something more than a madman on the boards.

If you don’t, you can thank Stefan Bondy of the New York Post for writing such a wonderful profile on Country Boy Mitch Rob.

“I have 19 dogs,” Robinson told Bondy.

According to the reporter, Robinson has his dogs in his Louisiana home, one of two with the other one being in New York. Of course, Robinson being Robinson, forget about finding him roaming New York City’s downtown.

“[NYC] is just too fast-paced for me,” Robinson said. “It’s just not me. It’s too bunched up. I like space.” And that (added to his Pensacola, FL and Chalmette, LA roots) is why he has a house in White Plains instead of Manhattan.

This is the Robinson you (probably) know, and the one we all like to watch and enjoy on the hardwood.

This is the Robinson you (maybe) don’t know, but the one we love the most off of the court.

“You could compete, show your trucks off, get sponsorships, all that stuff,” Robinson said. “Show your work. Your idea. Your creativity.”

Mitch just became the third-best offensive rebounder in Knicks history this past Saturday. He’s pulled down 1,116 O-boards, only fewer than Charles Oakley (2,580) and Patrick Ewing (2,568).

The most ridiculous thing about that? Mitch has grabbed those many rocks in just 302 games and 7,451 minutes of play. That yields a pace of nearly 0.15 O-Reb per minute. Nobody in Knicks history with more than 500 offensive rebounds is even at 0.11.

If Robinson keeps up his nonsensical pace throughout the remainder of his career, and assuming he plays exactly Oakley’s 727 games (as a Knick), he’d finish with 2,687 offensive rebounds. If he goes on to play Ewing’s 1,039 games, he’d sit atop with 3,839. LOL.

DiVo, JB, and a bunch of Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift

Stefan Bondy kept his hot streak alive on Sunday dropping another (must-read!) interesting story on former Villanova Wildcat roommates and current New York Knicks teammates Donte DiVincenzo and Jalen Brunson for the New York Post.

“He would play that loud as hell,” DiVincenzo told Bondy. DiVo was talking, of course, of his mate’s musical tastes and playlists, those prominently featuring artists known by the names of... Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber.

That’s not really breaking news, mind you. It’s widely known that Brunson is a huge Belieber. He’s said many times that he listens to (at least) one song from the Canadian singer before hitting the court every time he has a basketball game to play.

The tradition goes all the way back to his Villanova days, and DiVincenzo seems to know (and to have suffered) that particular thing about JB to the core.

“He bugs the hell out of me,” DiVincenzo said. “When I’m quiet, it doesn’t sit well with him. So he’s going to keep nagging me until I talk to him.”

Bondy’s story is great and includes a few interesting golden nuggets. For example, both ‘Cats met for the first in 2013 in an airport while still in high school, and DiVo first tried to convince Brunson to commit to Villanova (“Hey, why don’t you come to Villanova?”), only for JB to “laugh and say ‘No.’”

One year later, Brunson joined the Wildcats. Less than two years after that, both DiVincenzo and Brunson lifted the chip beating the Tar Heels. Add 24 months to that, and you’d find them bagging their second Natty after trouncing a bunch of Wolverines.

“We envisioned playing in the NBA, but not this,” Brunson said. “Jokingly—maybe—but never really a serious thought.”

Now, Brunson and DiVo are teammates in New York along with fellow Villanova alumni Josh Hart and Ryan Arcidiacono, both members of the 2016 Champ Wildcats.

With Quentin Grimes out on Friday’s and Saturday’s games, Brunson and DiVincenzo started for the Knicks at the one and two. Josh Hart cracked the starting lineup in the first game of the back-to-back taking place in Washington as RJ Barrett was dealing with a migraine and ruled out of that matchup, making it three Wildcats in the starting lineup announced pregame inside Capital One Arena.

“It’s super weird. Super weird,” DiVincenzo told Bondy. “They’re announcing the starters and it’s like, ‘From Villanova... From Villanova... From Villanova... It was like Villanova going up against the Wizards.”

The Nova York Knicks went 2-0 on that two-game, back-to-back, on-the-road series.

“It worked for us,” DiVo finished.