New York Knicks point guards Dennis Smith Jr. and Emmanuel Mudiay recently met with NBA legend Jason Kidd for some special advice.
For the New York Knicks, this season has been about the development of the young guys on the roster. The Knicks, who have the NBA’s worst record at 13-51, have a matchup with the 14-51 Phoenix Suns tonight.
However, Dennis Smith Jr. and Emmanuel Mudiay received advice from Hall of Fame point guard and former Knick, Jason Kidd.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Kidd showed up at shootaround and chatted with Smith Jr. and Mudiay for about 20 minutes. Knicks head coach David Fizdale and Kidd have known each other since their high school days.
For Smith Jr. and Mudiay, the unexpected meeting with Kidd should be a great boost for them. He’s arguably one of the top five point guards ever and was also a great leader.
The wisdom Kidd shared with them should be invaluable because they definitely have room to grow. Frank Ntilikina, who has been sidelined with a groin strain, also exchanged greetings with Kidd but wasn’t in the meeting.
The meeting was special for Emmanuel Mudiay
The meeting was special for Mudiay, who turned 23 on Tuesday. He also grew up in Dallas and watched Kidd win the NBA championship in 2011, upsetting the Miami Heat. Mudiay also remembers him from his New Jersey Nets days as well.
“Just watching him the way he got his teammates involved and the fact he could rebound the way he rebounded at his size and pass,’’ Mudiay said. “And one thing we talked about was defensively how good he was playing passing lanes.’’
Asked if it means more to hear it from a legend than a coaching-staff member, Mudiay said, “I would say the person that did it can tell you better how he did it more so than a coach saying ‘this person used to do this.’ It is different when he’s telling you himself – not to knock the coaches – but hearing from the individual himself does help.”
For Mudiay, listening to Kidd is important because any kind of advice can help his game grow even more. He’s also not guaranteed to be with the Knicks next season, especially if Kyrie Irving comes on board. Mudiay is a restricted free agent this summer.
However, if the pursuit of Irving, Kemba Walker, or any elite guard fails, the Knicks could bring him back. The final 18 games of the season, including tonight, are huge for Mudiay. He has to show that he really wants to be here. The ball is in his court.