“With the 9th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks select, Kevin Knox from the University of Kentucky.” These were the words that echoed the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York last night.
This news was met with overwhelming boos from those in attendance. However, the same occurred with the selection of Kristaps Porzingis, who has risen to become one of the premiere players within the NBA. For those searching for some positivity towards the selection, look no further.
Where It All Began
Kevin Knox II was born in Phoenix, Arizona on the 11th August, 1999. Yeah, that’s correct, he is 18 years old. He attended Tampa Catholic High School, in Tampa, Florida. In his third year at the school (Junior Year) he was averaging 30.1 PPG and an incredible 11.2 RPG. These numbers were pivotal in leading the team to regional and district championship titles, a feat which got the critics’ attention.
In his Senior year, his stats were still solid, considering he posted a respectable 28.5 PPG. Also, he improved his rebound tally by .1 on average throughout the season. Kevin proceeded to feature in the McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic, competitions which have boasted the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony previously. Despite offers from almost every top collegiate organisation within the NCAA, including Duke University, he elected to dawn the jersey of the infamous, Kentucky Wildcats.
Knox at Kentucky
In his freshman year on the Wildcats roster, Knox solidified the starter role as a dynamic small forward. His coach, John Calipari, felt that his performances in the season may have been hindered due to the fact that he was one of very few 3 point shooting threats. On average, he played 32.4 MPG, starting each of the 37 games played during the 2017-18 season. He led the team in points with a tally of 15.6
Once more Knox was a catalyst to propel his team to success, with the Wildcats seeding 4th in their conference with a 10-8 record. Despite the teams poor record, Knox and his team mates went on to win the Southeastern Conference. It was revealed on the 6th April that Knox would be declaring for the draft, forgoing his collegiate career, in exchange for the bright lights of the NBA. Speaking of bright lights, what better place to be, than in the Big Apple.
What does Knox bring to the Knicks?
Young Kevin does not enter the league without his flaws, but what talent ever has entered the NBA a complete player?
It is apparent that he is somewhat inconsistent on the defensive side of the ball, evidenced sporadically throughout his freshman year. Moreover, Knox hasn’t quite utilised his physique. Considering he stands at 6’9”, weighing 215lbs and boasting incredible athleticism for his size, he doesn’t appear to be as dominate as he should be on the boards. On the other hand, offensively, Knox could transform into the full package. He has the special ability of firing above the smaller players he faces, and can drive to the hoop with ease against the stockier defenders. Additionally, Kevin boasts a great 3 point shot and can dribble effectively with both hands. With his great physique, speed and agility, the Knicks have unearthed a diamond in the rough.
In addition, with a healthy Porzingis by his side and the explosive Frenchman, Frank Ntilikina, the Knicks may finally have their breakthrough year.