Kevin Knox
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

As the New York Knicks prepare for training camp, the lights and cameras were flashing during Media Day 2018. Here are the highlights.

Geoffrey Campbell

As New York Knicks fans wait with baited breath for the first pre-season game Oct. 1 against the Washington Wizards, the men in orange and blue posed for cameras and gave the MSG faithful all the quotes they could handle.

With training camp on the horizon, and rookies like Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson ready to go, here are some of the highlights from Monday’s media day.

Kristaps Porzingis

Porzingis batted leadoff during the media interviews, and he gave us most of the same information regarding his recovery and eventual return date. KP reiterated that there is no “timetable” for his return but expressed that they’re taking a conservative approach. Porzingis mentioned that his team has been good about holding him back and telling him to be patient when necessary. However, he also mentioned that he has begun light running but has not started any sprinting as of yet.

KP also sang the praises of his new coach David Fizdale, saying that he enjoyed Fiz’s visit to Latvia and that it was important. KP also believes that Fiz can get the maximum out of his players on the court. When questioned about his position on the court when he returns, KP stated that he will most likely see time at both forward positions and at center. KP also mentioned that it doesn’t matter where he plays on the court and that Fizdale will put him in places where he can be most effective.

On his impending max extension, mum was the word. Porzingis declined to comment, saying that his management team is handling that and it will be addressed at the right time.

Kevin Knox

Knox told the media that he will rely on previous conversations with Kentucky alumni like Karl Anthony-Towns, Bam Adebayo, and De’Aaron Fox in order to get through the grind of a full 82-game season.

On the upcoming season, Knox feels that the Knicks have had one of the better summers in the NBA. He believes that the energy on the team is good. He also believes that the chemistry on the team will continue to build from the summer where 14 players were regularly playing pick-up with each other.

Knox also appears to be prioritizing team goals over personal goals, saying that his main goal is to “win”. In the same vein, Knox was complimentary of his teammate Frank Ntilikina. Knox believes Ntilikina was more aggressive offensively and specifically with attacking the pick-and-roll.

Tim Hardaway Jr.

Hardaway Jr. spoke about his desire to be more a leader for his teammates, texting teammates over the summer, checking on them and making sure everyone is working on their games. While its early, coach Fizdale’s emphasis on culture does seem to be rubbing off on his players.

Shimmy also spoke about his confidence in having a bounce-back year. Hardaway Jr. mentioned the pressure and difference in being one of the main go-to guys on the court when Porzingis got injured. Hardaway Jr. believes he will be able to pick his spots on the court better this season.

Courtney Lee

On his future in New York, Lee stated that he is excited by the culture change with the Knicks. Lee also mentioned that players have been asked to check their egos at the door and that he is prepared to work hard and do whatever the coach asks him to do.

Lee also addressed rumors that he wanted to be traded to a contender, saying that he’s a Knick and that he’s looking forward to training camp.

You can tell Lee has done this once or twice in his life. The man was cool hand luke when asked questions about the upcoming season and his role with the team considering the apparent youth movement. Lee was in every sense a professional.

Lee also had high praise for Knox, calling him a “cornerstone of the franchise.”

Enes Kanter

Kanter, jovial as always, started his portion of media day taking a video of the reporters in the audience. When asked about his workouts in the summer, Kanter emphasized his work on spreading the floor and working on his three-point shot. Kanter also praised coach Fizdale for giving him confidence.

When asked about the playoffs, Kanter dropped the gem of media day, telling reporters, “When I think about playoffs, my nipples get hard.” If that isn’t proof enough that the Knicks aren’t tanking, I don’t know what it is. Kanter also doubled-down on his feelings towards protecting his teammates, saying that he sees his teammates as part of his family and would take a bar-room fight attitude to the basketball court.

Despite all the social media hijinks and goofy one-liners, no one can question Kanter’s loyalty. He reiterated that he wants to retire in New York.

Without a crazy amount of new information, it’s certainly good to see all the players refreshed and with good attitudes heading into the new season. And while I’m generally on the wait and see train with any hype related to coach Fizdale, the players certainly seem to have bought in. Training camp starts tomorrow and beginning of a new season is upon us.

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