New York Knicks player Kevin Knox has spoken to the media during their final practice session in London today ahead of the NBA London Game 2019 against the New York Knicks at The O2 on January 17th.
Q: How would you rate the start to your NBA career?
KK: There’s ups and downs, you can never get too down and never get too high. We seem to have a good game, then we have a bad game, so we have to bounce back. Basically never get down on yourself and just stay calm.
We’ve got a lot more work to do and a lot I can get better at and progress, so I’m just going to keep getting better and keep working so I can get more confidence. The coach is putting the young guys out there, letting us play, letting us learn every single game by playing against some of the best guys in the world. That’s good for us young guys, we’ve got to just get out there and play and there’s nothing better than that.
Q: Have you got friends and family over in London for the game?
KK: My parents decided not to come – my brother’s still in school and my mother’s big on that so she didn’t want to mess around with school. This is definitely a great experience for me, especially how young I am and I’ve never been to London, so I’m pretty pumped to go out there and see a different culture.
Q: Have you seen any of the sights in London?
KK: I didn’t really know exactly what I was looking at – I was just walking around just looking at the city. It’s a beautiful city, a lot to do, a lot of nice buildings and it does remind me a little bit of New York.
Q: You’ll probably get a first draft pick, free agent next season – what are you looking forward to?
KK: I’m looking forward to next season but we’ve still got a lot of work to do this year – there’s a lot of games left and still half a season to go. We just want to keep getting better every single day and never want to look ahead but just take each game at a time.
Q: It’ll be a tough game against the Wizards – is this a chance to turn your form around?
KK: We’ve played the Wizards twice already so we know what they do. John Wall is obviously out but Bradley Beal is playing some great basketball right now. They’ve got a lot of young assets, just like we do, so we’re just going to go out there, play our game. We’ve played them a couple of times so we kind of know what they do already.
Q: Is it a good experience for the team to go overseas and play a special game like this?
KK: This is great. This is what we need – this is another opportunity for us to bond and get better. Especially for us young guys, like I said I’ve never been here [to London] so it’s a great experience for us to come out here and play a game in front of London fans. It will be a cool experience.
Q: Have you been to Europe at all?
KK: Yeah, I’ve been to Spain with USA Basketball.
Q: Does your role change tomorrow evening without Enes in the team?
KK: No, not really. We wish he was here, he’s been out a couple of games I think now, so we just want to keep going out there and keep doing what we got to do. We’ll definitely have to rebound with him out as he’s definitely one of our best rebounders, so with him out everyone will have to step up with that role.
Q: In terms of leadership, who are you looking up to and who’s helping you?
KK: Mostly Courtney Lee, Lance Thomas – those guys kind of have that experience, veterans, playoff experience too. Especially Courtney Lee, I go to him for everything if I need some help or advice or tips – anything on the court or off the court. That’s the kind of guy I go to.
Q: Is this trip taking a toll on you physically?
KK: Yeah, the jetlag kind of hit me a little bit, different time zones, I think we’re five hours ahead [in London]. I think it’s caught a lot of this team but we’ve just got to make sure that we can keep our bodies right and make sure we get enough rest.
Q: Obviously Enes has been in the news recently – are you sad that he’s not able to make the trip?
KK: Yes, we miss Enes and we really wish he was here. It’s unfortunate that we’re unable to have him, we’re definitely going to need him, but we’ll go out and get this one for him.
Q: Do you support his actions in pulling out of the game for his safety?
KK: Yeah, it was 100% best he didn’t come for his own safety. I’m pretty sure he’s over there in New York and will be watching the game, staying in shape, working out so we definitely miss him and I know he misses us.
Q: There’s rumours that Kevin Durant might join next season. Would that be a big boost for the team if that happened?
KK: I mean whoever we get next season is definitely going to be a big boost. We got a lot of young guys on this team and we need to get KP [Kristaps Porzingis] back.