Earlier this summer, the New York Knick contacted JJ Redick on social media, asking if he was available to workout. Last month, the pair spent two days together in the Hamptons.
Per Begley, Grimes raved about Redick. “It was probably the best two days I’ve had all summer. A 15-year NBA veteran. Seen it all, done it all, played on multiple teams…. Played in the playoffs, played in big games. So just talking to him, at the gym, at his house. Going to dinner with him with his family. I couldn’t ask for a better two days, honestly.”
Beyond working out, Redick shared some tips of the trade, explained Quentin. “How he comes off pick and rolls, down screens, pin-downs, floppy action.”
Grimes is currently at the Team USA minicamp on the USA Select Team. The Team USA Select group features promising young NBA players and scrimmages against the main squad. The main team includes fellow Knickerbockers, Josh Hart and Jalen Brunson.
You, like coach Steve Kerr, might be surprised to know that the recently-wed Jalen Brunson forewent a honeymoon to join Team USA in the desert.
In fact, the original wedding date would have conflicted with Team USA’s schedule. So the happy couple moved the date back to facilitate Jalen’s participation. For Brunson, the invite to play for Team USA was too rare to pass up.
But...all the wedding details had already been planned and booked, invitations had been delivered. Jalen and Ali would have to reset everything within a tiny window of time.
According to Jalen, his bride was cool about it. “There was really no convincing.... I asked her. Shakingly, asked her. It was actually a very easy kind of transition. Everything worked out, actually easier than expected.” (apnews.com)
Kerr said, “He told me when the wedding was supposed to be and I just immediately turned the page…. I said, ‘Oh well, never mind, let’s touch base another time.’ I didn’t think there was any chance.”
For Jalen, the new schedule became: fancy wedding in Chicago, shooting practice in New York days later, a plane to Las Vegas for team meeting, then practices and scrimmage until Sunday. The team will scrimmage against Puerto Rico on Monday, and then Spain and UAE through the week. The proper tournament starts on August 25 in Manila.
For Brunson, ball trumps all. APNews reported that Steve Kerr texted Jalen’s Villanova coach Jay Wright: “I already love Jalen Brunson, and now I love his fiancée even more.”
Same here. Good catch, Jalen.
In Friday’s scrimmage against Brunson et al, Quentin Grimes displayed the facets of his game we can expect to see more of next season: tough defense, three-point shooting, and playmaking.
Asked about what changes he envisions for himself next season, Grimes said, “Really just try to take as much as I can from him and incorporate it into...this upcoming season.
“Just been getting a lot more comfortable with the ball in my hands (in the offseason), making plays for myself and my teammates. Making more plays off the dribble, shooting off the dribble.”
New York’s starting shooting guard understands his importance to the team. His goals for next season are clear: “Taking my defense to another notch. I guard the best player almost every night. Really just trying to be a lot more consistent. Try to be in the best shape possible.”
Redick stressed the importance of being in supreme shape. “That’s one of the big things I learned from JJ. The way he was coming off screens. You’ve got to be one of the top (conditioned) guys in the league. So I’m definitely trying to make sure I’m in the best shape possible coming into training camp.”
When asked about teammate Julius Randle, Grimes responded directly. “Nobody should ever be questioning his toughness, how much he wants it, how much he cares about the team, how much he cares about winning,” Grimes said of Randle. “I think there’s a certain narrative around him, which I think is total bulls—t honestly. He cares a lot about this team. He does everything he can possibly [do] to make sure his body is right, to make sure he’s in the best shape possible to make sure he can give it all.”
Quentin’s loyalty to the oft-maligned power forward is indisputable: “That’s my dog.”
When finished in Vegas, Grimes will jet to Memphis to workout with Penny Hardaway. The old adage holds true: the best never rest.
Begley also noted that The Woodlands College Park High School is about to retire Quentin’s number. “At Woodlands, Grimes was named All-Greater Houston Player of the Year, the Gatorade State Player of the Year, and a McDonald’s All-American.”
Congratulations on the honor Quentin!