The New York Knicks begin their 2018-19 season with new young players like Kevin Knox and plenty of advice from two franchise alumni.
Nate Robinson and David Lee were each prized draft selections for the New York Knicks in 2005, creating plenty of excitement and memories during their time in the Big Apple. The duo reunited for the Knicks’ season opener as team ambassadors greeting fans as part of the NBA’s pregame party with Mountain Dew Ice.
Hoops Habit sat down with the guys to discuss rookie Kevin Knox, future careers and the chances for this season’s Knicks team.
Is there any advice you would give to Kevin Knox as he begins his career?
Nate: “Just enjoy the moment and understand that just let it be a game and enjoy this being a game and just try to make your mark here for kids to see later on in life. They’ll know who you are and then whatever you put into it, you’ll get out of it.”
David: “I think the way we both approached it even talking about it today is to take all the thinking out of it. Instead go out there play as hard as you can and do what you do best and the fans here, the media here in this city recognize that and they know when you’re out there giving it everything you have. Let the rest be taken over by your talent and how well you know the game you put that focus on playing hard giving everything you have, and the rest will take care of itself.”
David, how are you adjusting to retired life away from the NBA?
David: “I’m excited about the new chapter. I played 12 years in the league and really enjoyed my time. Gave it everything I had and even got a couple of calls this summer. Was very confident in saying it’s run its course for me and I’m just excited about the next part of life and thinking about something other than basketball every single day when i wake up. So I really enjoyed my time and it’s great to come back in situations like this and out west in Golden State and interact with the fans that supported me and Nate while we were here and to be on the other side of it and sit back and enjoy watching some basketball instead of playing.”
Nate, you starred in the summer movie Uncle Drew is this the beginning of an acting career?
Nate: “I mean, I would hope so. I mean, it’s not something I’m out searching for right now because there is still a lot of basketball for me to be played. Me being a dad, so my kids take a lot of my time, it’s pretty cool to watch them grow and have hoop dreams and go through the school system and all just growing up being a human being. For me it’s just being a dad. I’m trying to get like D. Lee and try to enjoy my retirement now, but being a busy dad is pretty tough.”
How do you guys feel about the Knicks this season and moving forward?
Nate: “It’s always exciting for Knicks fans every year. When it’s the beginning of the season we always look forward to it, but know now for sure the way the game is changed it’s gonna be fun for them. It’s gonna be a great journey for all the rookies and all the first-time guys that are out here trying to make a name for themselves, but it’s gonna be fun hopefully this year, especially with Bron [LeBron James] being on the west. It’s gonna be a little easier in the East to kinda make a name for the team, so it’s gonna be pretty cool.”
David: “I think there is a lot for fans to be excited about. You have a new coaching staff in here and some good young players and I think they are making a commitment to the youth right now and obviously you have KP [Kristaps Porzingis] coming back. When he comes back, he is a guy the Knicks can build around and they’ve committed to doing that, so I think it’s some exciting times and what I’ve seen in the preseason, I’ve watched a little bit a group that’s gonna play hard out there and have fun playing together and that’s all the fans here wants to see. So I think that they’re gonna have a good treat and get off to a good start tonight.”
Fans did go home happy after the game, as New York defeated the Atlanta Hawks, 126-107, to start the season undefeated. The expectations may be reasonably low, but the Knicks are showing some fight and energy already just like Robinson and Lee did years ago.