We’ve known for a while now that the Knicks had a deal in place to send Obi Toppin to the Pacers but things went silent for a few days as they tend to with offseason deals. Well, after a bit of a delay, the long rumored trade was finally made official and announced a few days ago. And just a couple days later, Toppin finally broke his silence and opened up about his time in New York as well as his future in his first public comments since the deal.
Toppin, as he so often did during his tenure as a Knick, kept things classy. In the Zoom call, the New York native gushed over his teammates and staff and talked about the experience of playing at the Garde, saying, “I had a great time with the Knicks. Obviously, it’s been a dream to have the opportunity to play at MSG and obviously put that Knicks jersey on. There were great players there, great coaches, and everybody was amazing there”.
Obi Toppin touches on his time with the Knicks:— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) July 9, 2023
"I had a great time with the Knicks. Obviously, it's been a dream to have the opportunity to play at MSG and obviously put that Knicks jersey on. There were great players there, great coaches, and everybody was amazing there" pic.twitter.com/7KApoErBoY
But it wasn’t all positive. When he was eventually asked about his lackluster minutes and opportunities (or lack thereof) in New York, the athletic big man spoke about just trying to do whatever the coach asked of him. And in what was a rare public vocalization of his frustration and disappointment with the situation, he made it clear that he did not get the minutes he wanted. Toppin was then asked about the now infamous leaked audio of his verbal spat with Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau, but he declined to address it, and instead spoke about his future. “I’m not really worried about the past anymore, thinking about that,” he said. “All I’m worried about is this new start, fresh start, and I can’t wait to get out there.”
Toppin proceeded to spend the rest of the Zoom call focusing more on the what lies ahead. “I feel like this is a fresh start for me. It’s going to be great just because it’s something new I’m going into,” he said. “But like I said before, it’s a bunch of great players, coaches, everybody who’s here is great. I can’t wait to get started, get down in Indy and get it started.”
The former lottery pick also talked about his excitement for his younger brother, Jacob, who was recently signed by the Knicks. “I’m super excited for Jacob, super excited that he has the opportunity to be up here in the league,” Toppin said. “He’s worked extremely hard for this opportunity. Hopefully, we can be on the court again [together] at this level when we play them.”
Fans have been and will likely continue to be on different pages when it comes to the entire Toppin saga but there is no denying his positive attitude and professionalism with how he handled the whole situation. While it’s odd seeing Toppin dawning a shirt of a different team, it’s nice to see that he still has fond memories of his time in New York and that he’s ready for the next chapter in his career.