President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and daughtera Sasha, and Malia attend the the Oregon State vs Akron game. ( Marco Garcia)
President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and daughtera Sasha, and Malia attend the the Oregon State vs Akron game. ( Marco Garcia)

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Craig Robinson was in his office with the Milwaukee Bucks one day this July when Knicks President Steve Mills phoned him.

Mills and Robinson, Michelle Obama's brother and Barack Obama's brother-in-law, had been teammates at Princeton for two years and both graduated with degrees in sociology.

On this day, Mills, who had recently taken over the reins of the Knicks after Phil Jackson was fired by owner Jim Dolan, was calling to offer Robinson a new job as as vice president of player development and G League operations.

"Hey, I have the perfect job for you," Mills told his old teammate.

The problem was, Robinson and his wife, Kelly, had just closed on their house in Milwaukee and their sons, Austin, 7, and Aaron, 5, were about to start school, so he balked.

"Steve, I don't think I'll be able to do it this year," Robinson said from his office with the Bucks. "No, you've got to hear this," Mills insisted.

"And then once he described the job, I was like, oh, man, I better tell my wife about this," Robinson, 55, said this week at the Knicks facility with a broad smile that resembles that of his younger sister. He ultimately took the job and moved to New York without his family, who remain in Milwaukee. They will decide their next step as far as where to live as a family after this season.

Robinson was introduced in August as part of a new wave of post-Jackson hirings by Mills and new GM Scott Perry that also included Gerald Madkins as assistant general manager, Harold Ellis as director of player personnel, Michael Arcieri as director of basketball strategy, and Fred Cofield as a scout.

"Last month, the day after I was hired, I started a full evaluation of the entire basketball operations staff," Perry said then in a statement. "My first goal was to build-up the highest level front office in the NBA. We are adding a host of highly-regarded and respected basketball people to work with the Knicks to fortify the franchise for years to come."

Robinson had served as the head coach at Brown University and Oregon State for a combined eight seasons, compiling a 124-133 record. After getting fired in 2014, he worked as a college basketball analyst for ESPN before taking a job in the Bucks front office in 2016.

"I worked for the Milwaukee Bucks," Robinson said. "Prior to that I was doing what you guys were doing, I was working on TV. So I had really no inclination to work in the NBA. I thought eventually I'd either go back to college basketball or stay with TV."



Though he has just begun, Robinson seems to be relishing his new role, which included advising the Westchester Knicks during the recent G League draft. (The league was formerly known as the NBA D-League but is now called the G League because it is sponsored by Gatorade).

"I started out in corporate America working in investment banking, so I've got an MBA," Robinson said. "So what this position allows me to do is to marry the two things that I actually have experience doing, business and basketball, and it's a real refreshing feeling to be able to use all the tools you kind of put in your tool kit during your life and then you get to use them all in one place, not just part of them."

As for how he described his new position, Robinson said his role is focused on player development. "What Steve and Scott and the folks here at the Knicks believe is that the overall development of players is as important as anything else in the organization," Robinson said. "That's what made this really attractive for me because you've got somebody who sort of sees the world the way that I see it and they'd like me to be the architect of it so I'm really excited about that part.

"The other thing is that both Steve and Scott and ownership here, Mr. Dolan, they're all about the off-the-court development of these players. If I had to be the poster child for something that would be it because all of these guys are going to have more non-basketball life than they are going to have basketball life and if they're prepared for that, even if they're ex-NBA players, it's exactly what we should be doing."

Allan Houston, the formers Knicks star who is now the GM for for the Knicks' G League team, the Westchester Knicks, says Robinson can be an invaluable resource for not only the young players on the team, but his colleagues as well.

"Having someone like Craig, when players can talk with him and sit with him and know that he can have that perspective, I think it's very beneficial to a lot of guys," Houston said. "I know if I was a player, I'd take advantage of it."

"Craig brings a lot," he added. "I just enjoy talking to him about life, about basketball, leadership. He has just a wealth of knowledge, from his banking background to coaching to seeing a lot of the players at a younger age, being able to recruit them and seeing how they developed, he has a lot of perspective on what we're doing and developing, not just for basketball but developing the whole person. And I think that's one of the things that Steve has always been adamant about, Scott has been really vocal about."

With the Knicks in a rebuilding mode following the trade of Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City in September, Robinson believes the development of the players on the Westchester Knicks could also facilitate the big club.

"We want to develop guys who are good enough to move over to the big Knicks, but we also want to be an organization that helps the current Knicks when they need some players to come over -- we're trying not to use the term "down" -- and get some run either in a rehabilitation standpoint or if they're not playing much over here [with the Knicks], they can come over and get some run with us over there," he said.

Being a former college coach also gives Robinson insights into many of the players on the Westchester Knicks roster, even if he was never able to recruit the likes of an Isaiah Hicks (North Carolina), Nigel Hayes (Wisconsin) or Trey Burke (Michigan) to Brown or Oregon State.

"It's highly improbable," he joked of his chances of recruiting those players. "I would've tried to begin with and then if I didn't get on the list, I would've moved on."



"I always thought I could evaluate talent," he added. "The fact that I've looked at high school and college players for the last 16 years probably at least gives me the right to put it on my resume, so I don't know how good I'll be at. I also think the two years working in TV helps a lot because when you're recruiting you only recruit the guys that you have a chance of getting. You can't recruit the No. 1 guy in the nation, he's not going to come to Brown University or Northwestern or Oregon State. But now you get a chance to look at everybody and that's a cool thing to sort of be dealing in the best of the best."

With college basketball now in the headlines due to the recent FBI investigation into bribery in college basketball, Robinson was asked his thoughts on the current state of the game at that level. Asked if he was surprised that high school recruits had allegedly been paid to attend certain colleges, including the allegations that an Adidas representative conspired to pay Brian Bowen's family $100,000 in exchange for him attending Louisville and signing with Adidas upon turning pro, Robinson said he wasn't shocked.

"If you're in college basketball, you know what's going on so I wasn't surprised," he said. "And I was beyond disappointed because once you realize that's going on you're disappointed in it but understand that some people do business that way. So it will be interesting to see how it all works out, I'll leave it at that."

Robinson even joked that some high school players were allegedly getting paid more to attend certain colleges than pro players were making in the G League. Several players in the FBI complaint were allegedly offered $100,000 or $150,000 to attend specific colleges, whereas G League players earn one of two salaries-$19,500 or $26,000-for the six-month D-League season. Meantime, Americans, or other players, who compete in top leagues overseas can earn six- or even seven-figure salaries.

"Well if you're reading what's going on in the paper, they're getting paid more from going to college" than the G League, Robinson joked.

Asked if he was glad to be in the professional ranks while this scandal taints college basketball, Robinson said, "No, because I would be the guy who could sleep at night because that's the best thing about not being in that situation."

All of this, of course, begs the question of whether someone like Bowen, who is currently restricted from practicing at Louisville due to the school's own internal decision following the FBI investigation and the firing of coach Rick Pitino, could instead enter the G League and get paid this year. Or whether any high school player who wanted to skip college and pursue the professional route would pursue the G League.

"I think people just want an opportunity," Robinson said. "It feels like to me that guys who have the chance of being in the NBA want to find the path of least resistance. And that could end up being the G League. And I don't mean that in a negative way. When you think about players who are one-and-done, does it really make sense to risk your future on nine months [in college] health-wise or perception-wise when you could actually be coming to a place like Westchester and developing into an NBA player."

Houston also said he wasn't surprised by the bribery scandal and hoped that it could somehow turn out to benefit the G League.

"It will be interesting to see how it plays and hopefully the timing is advantageous to us in that maybe this league can be something that helps, another resource that provides some development," Houston said. "Whatever happens with the [NBA] age limit, I still think this league should be a grounds for development and that's what our goal is to be."

As for whether Barack and Michelle Obama will ever turn up at the Westchester County Center to support Robinson and his team, he left the door open.

"Man, put it this way, if we win enough games, they'll come," he said.

"That's even more incentive for our guys, hopefully," Houston added with a smile.

Follow @AdamZagoria on Twitter


Knicks lose tight game in London 00:01:38
New York Knicks point guard Emmanuel Mudiay voiced his opinion of how the Knicks faired across the pond in London against the Wizards.

The London Game looked to be in the bag for the Knicks, but a fourth-quarter slump saw the Wizards pull out a 101-100 win that came down to the buzzer on Thursday night. >> Box score

Things to know about Sunday's game

1) After Noah Vonleh buried a nifty hook shot to go up 100-99, the Wizards had 3.3 seconds to work with. They inbounded the ball to a wide open Thomas Bryant in the middle, and as he rose for a layup, Allonzo Trier was called for goaltending which gave the Wizards the lead. With 0.4 seconds left, the Knicks didn't draw up the right play as Emmanuel Mudiay threw up a shot that didn't connect at the buzzer.

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Kevin Knox
Kevin Knox

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Most NBA rookies, even the great ones, hit a wall at some point. Kevin Knox got that out of the way early.

Three games into his rookie season with the Knicks, Knox suffered an ankle sprain that sidelined him for two weeks. Upon returning, he struggled in all areas of the game, as he felt his way into a consistent role.

Now, with those early growing pains out of the way, Knox has turned a corner. At the changing of the calendar year, he was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for a December campaign, in which he averaged 17.1 points and six rebounds per game while shooting 38.4 percent from three-point range.

Tags: Kevin Knox, Courtney Lee, Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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Dec 1, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale coaches against the Milwaukee Bucks during first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 1, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale coaches against the Milwaukee Bucks during first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

After several days of sightseeing, charitable events and team dinners, the New York Knicks and Washington Wizards will get down to business Thursday at London's O2 Arena.

Playing in the London game means obligations and opportunities beyond the court as the two teams, though not among the NBA's elite, are representing the league on the world stage.

The Knicks (10-33), in fact, are playing their third game in London since 2013.

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New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson dunks against Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and forward Khris Middleton during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson dunks against Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and forward Khris Middleton during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks rookie center Mitchell Robinson is ready to play for the first time in over a month from a sprained ankle and strained groin.

Robinson is available for Thursday's game in London against the Washington Wizards after he practiced on Wednesday and went through Thursday morning shootaround, according to Newsday's Steve Popper.

"I expect rust, but we got to get it off of him," head coach David Fizdale said, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman. "He's missed a big chunk of the season -- a very important chunk for his development. The faster we can get it off of him and get him playing, the better."

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Knicks cross The Pond to London 00:01:33
The Knicks crossed The Pond earlier this week and will face the Wizards on Thursday at 3 PM E.T. for the NBA London game

The Knicks crossed The Pond earlier this week and will face the Wizards on Thursday at 3 p.m. for the NBA London game.

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New York Knicks center Enes Kanter reacts after the first overtime against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks center Enes Kanter reacts after the first overtime against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks center Enes Kanter is being accused by Turkish prosecutors of membership in a terror organization. The nation is seeking an international arrest warrant for Kanter, according to a report by the Associated Press

Tags: Enes Kanter
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Oct 19, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis looks on during a second half time out against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 19, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis looks on during a second half time out against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Perhaps there is a chance Kristaps Porzingis will indeed play this season. 

The Knicks forward did not travel with the team to London this week as he continues to work on his rehab and prepare himself to play this season. 

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis
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Oct 13, 2018; London, United Kingdom; General overall view of the entrance to the O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Oct 13, 2018; London, United Kingdom; General overall view of the entrance to the O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The Knicks may have caught only a couple hours of sleep on their flight to London Tuesday, but they weren't thinking about the hotel beds when they landed at 10:30 a.m. They were ready to hit the London streets.

The team has an agenda for their trip to Europe to face the Wizards on Thursday, and head coach David Fizdale made it a point to include some tourist time for his squad.

"We'll try to do it in a way that doesn't have them on their feet a lot," Fizdale told The Post's Marc Berman. "But they gotta see all of that. They gotta experience it. The whole beauty of this is learning about new culture, new food, new everything. You gotta open up your mind...

Tags: Courtney Lee, Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr., Scott Thompson
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Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving reacts during the first half against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)
Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving reacts during the first half against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)

Kyrie Irving has recently expressed his dissatisfaction with his Celtics teammates. And though he has said he plans to re-sign with Boston, some fans in New York don't believe that will be the case.

Brooklyn fans, specifically.

Though Irving did not play in Monday's 109-102 loss to the Nets, a game in which the Celtics trailed by as many as 27 in the fourth quarter, Nets fans chanted "Kyrie's leaving!" as Boston's Daniel Theis readied for a free throw.

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Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson and forward R.J. Barrett reacts after a basket by Williamson during the first half against the Syracuse Orange at Cameron Indoor Stadium. (Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports)
Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson and forward R.J. Barrett reacts after a basket by Williamson during the first half against the Syracuse Orange at Cameron Indoor Stadium. (Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports)

Potential Knicks draft target and star Duke freshman Zion Williamson scored a career-high 35 points in his eighth double-double of the season as the top-ranked Blue Devils lost to unranked Syracuse 95-91 in overtime on Monday at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The electric freshman, who was playing without Cam Reddish, also recorded four blocks but missed a go-ahead free throw in the closing seconds of regulation with the game tied at 85.

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Mar 28, 2018; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kadeem Allen (45) warms up prior to the game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Isabella)
Mar 28, 2018; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kadeem Allen (45) warms up prior to the game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Isabella)

The Knicks signed G League guard Kadeem Allen to a two-way NBA deal on Monday, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. 

Allen, who turns 26 on Tuesday, is averaging 13.7 points, 5.7 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game in 25 games with the Westchester Knicks in the G League this season. 

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Former Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal speaks during a NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Staples Center. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
Former Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal speaks during a NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Staples Center. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Shaquille O'Neal played for six teams in his 19-year Hall of Fame career, but none of them were the Knicks.

But according to him, if he was a young superstar in 2019, New York would be a destination.

"I never understood why top-name players wouldn't want to come here," O'Neal told TMZ. "If I was a youngster, Madison Avenue would be turning into Shaq Avenue."

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Knicks fall to Sixers 00:01:05
Rookie Kevin Knox scored a career-high 31 points but it wasn't enough as the Sixers edged the Knicks, 108-105

The Knicks hung in there after getting blitzed early in the first quarter by the 76ers, but lost, 108-105, on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. >> Box score

Things to know about Sunday's game

1) After trailing by as many as 24 points, the Knicks made a furious third quarter comeback to draw within 83-82 entering the fourth quarter. But the sixers scored the first 11 points of the quarter to put the game out of reach. 

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New York Knicks center Enes Kanter shoots the basketball against Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks center Enes Kanter shoots the basketball against Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks have reportedly spoken with the Chicago Bulls and Sacramento Kings about a trade that would involve center Enes Kanter, according to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy.

New York has engaged with the Bulls about a trade that would involve Kanter and Bulls forward Jabari Parker, however they also looked to include a third team in a possible deal.

While the Kings were an option to be that third team, New York and Sacramento have had separate talks for a trade including Kanter, however the Knicks, according to Bondy, want a "sweetner" to a deal, like a second-round pick, as opposed to swapping expiring contracts.

Tags: Enes Kanter
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Kyrie Irving (11) Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)
Kyrie Irving (11) Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)

The Celtics are struggling, and pending free agent Kyrie Irving isn't happy.

"The young guys don't know what it takes to be a championship-level team," Irving told reporters on Saturday after the Celtics' latest loss. "What it takes every day. And if they think it is hard now, what do they think it will be like when we're trying to get to the Finals?"

Irving said last year that his plan was to re-sign with the Celtics when he hits free agency after the season, but it's fair to wonder if his unhappiness amidst the Celtics' struggles could change that plan.

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New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox drives to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks guard Tony Snell during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox drives to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks guard Tony Snell during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

The Philadelphia 76ers missed Joel Embiid's impact in clogging the paint and experienced a night to forget against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, especially in the final seconds.

Embiid missed the game because of a sore right ankle, injured in Wednesday night's loss to Washington, but the 76ers hope to have him back Sunday afternoon when they visit the New York Knicks.

Without him for the third time this season, the Sixers allowed 62 points in the paint, got outrebounded 44-30 and took a 123-121 home loss. Mike Muscala started at center but hardly could compensate for Embiid's team-leading 26.9 points and 13.5 rebounds.

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Feb 8, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale during the second half against the Phoenix Suns at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Phoenix Suns 110-91. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports (Justin Ford)
Feb 8, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale during the second half against the Phoenix Suns at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Phoenix Suns 110-91. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports (Justin Ford)

Following yet another rout on his home floor Friday night against the Pacers, Knicks head coach David Fizdale was asked what is wrong with his team's defense. He had a very definitive, but simple answer. 

"All of it," he told NorthJersey.com's Chris Iseman.

The Knicks are second-to-last in defensive rating in the NBA this season at 113.5, and it isn't hard to believe with the team's 10-32 record. And Fizdale doesn't believe it's lackadaisical play from his squad, but rather it is the system that he is trying to run. 

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Jan 12, 2019; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Duke Blue Devils players celebrate after winning the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports (Melina Myers)
Jan 12, 2019; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Duke Blue Devils players celebrate after winning the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports (Melina Myers)

In what was an ACC thriller in Tallahassee, Duke's R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish were crucial in turning an upset into a big road win against the No. 13 ranked Florida State Seminoles. 

Normally we highlight Zion Williamson's performance, but the project No. 1 overall draft pick didn't play the second half due to an eye injury he sustained in the first. He finished his day 5-for-10 from the field for 11 points and eight rebounds.

With Williamson out, it was Barrett who took over in the second half. He had a game-high 32 points on 10-of-19 shooting, including four three-pointers. He also had three rebounds and two steals.

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Fizdale on Kristaps Porzingis 00:00:39
David Fizdale talks about the current health of Kristaps Porzingis, and how he is looking forward to getting him back on the court.

David Fizdale could not even bear to look at Kristaps Porzingis in the gym. 

No, it is not because he dislikes the 7-foot-3 forward, nor was it because he did not like what he saw.

Quite the opposite, actually. 

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis
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Fizdale on loss to Pacers 00:00:28
David Fizdale talks about his team's defensive breakdowns as the Knicks fell on Friday to the Indiana Pacers, 121-106.

The Knicks couldn't control the Pacers on their home floor, losing 126-106 at Madison Square Garden on Friday night. >> Box score

Things to know about Friday's game

1) The last time Domantis Sabonis came to The Garden, he left with a perfect 12-for-12 line from the field in a monster game. He didn't produce the same rare box score this time around, but he was still the Pacers' leading scorer with 22 points on 9-of-14 from the field. He also made all four foul shot attempts. On top of that, he had a double-double with 15 rebounds and three assists.

Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Indiana Pacers, Tim Hardaway Jr., Scott Thompson
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Dec 19, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) dribbles against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Dec 19, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) dribbles against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Knicks C Enes Kanter might be really sick after that cheat meal.

Kanter had to miss practice on Thursday with what the team called an illness, and it will extend to tonight's matchup against the Pacers where he will be inactive.

This illnes came after a Wednesday night cheat meal that could have fed a family. 

Tags: Enes Kanter
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Mario Hezonja (8) Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mario Hezonja (8) Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Indiana Pacers are feeling the absence of center Myles Turner in the low post as opponents have been constantly getting to the rim in the past three games.

Turner has been ruled out again (sore right shoulder) for Friday's visit to the New York Knicks. The Pacers are hoping to solve some recent defensive issues despite his absence at center in the finale of their season-high five-game road trip.

Turner was already dealing with a broken nose and wearing a facemask after getting hit by Atlanta's John Collins on Dec. 31. He played 26 minutes last Friday when the Pacers opened the trip with a 119-116 overtime win at Chicago on Victor Oladipo's game-winning 3-pointer. >> Read more

Tags: Indiana Pacers
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New York Knicks forward/center Kristaps Porzingis addresses the media at Knicks Media Day, (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks forward/center Kristaps Porzingis addresses the media at Knicks Media Day, (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis has missed 69 games since tearing his ACL last season. Friday's matchup against the Indiana Pacers will be Game No. 70, and that will impact his qualifying offer that could be his only route of becoming an unrestricted free agent sooner.

In missing his 42nd game of the 2018-19 season, Porzingis' qualifying offer would drop from $7.5 million to $4.5 million, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks.

The reason for the drop in Porzingis' qualifying offer is because Porzingis would need to meet the NBA's starter criteria, which requires any top-14 draft pick to play in at least 41 games or 2,000 minutes of that player's rookie contract.

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis
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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina shoots the ball against the Miami Heat during the first half at American Airlines Arena. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina shoots the ball against the Miami Heat during the first half at American Airlines Arena. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina said he is making progress from an ankle injury he suffered last week but is still feeling some pain and unsure exactly when he will return.

The second-year guard, whose injury was changed to a left ankle sprain after the team initially ruled it a strain, ruled himself as "doubtful" for Friday's game against the Indiana Pacers.

"As a player and a competitor, you hate missing games," Ntilikina said, according to the New York Post's Greg Joyce. "You hate being on the side of the court and not being able to help your teammates. Obviously you're doing the job of cheering and giving advice as much as you can do on the side of the court, but you want to be on the court."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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New York Knicks center Enes Kanter looks to pass as Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews and forward Dwight Powell defend during the first half at American Airlines Center. (Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks center Enes Kanter looks to pass as Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews and forward Dwight Powell defend during the first half at American Airlines Center. (Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks center Enes Kanter told CNN he has received "hundreds and hundreds of death threats, almost every day" over his comments regarding the Turkish government and him not traveling to London for fear of his life.

Kanter will not be flying to London for the Knicks' matchup with the Washington Wizards next week because he said he feared "spies" could target him, saying, "There's a chance that I can get killed out there."

Tags: Enes Kanter
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Hezonja sees improvement 00:01:02
Hezonja's playing time has increased the last few games. He's making the most of it and say sitting out helped him see the bigger picture.

For the past month, Knicks F Mario Hezonja hasn't seen the hardwood much as head coach David Fizdale moved him out of the rotation. But that was until the team's surprising win over the Lakers on Jan. 4. 

Hezonja played just 14 minutes in that contest, but he was more than ready to make an impact. He scored 10 points on 3-of-4 shooting and 3-of-6 from the charity stripe. He also had two assists. 

And since that game, Hezonja has received more time from Fizdale -- 31 minutes against Portland on Monday and 25 minutes against the Warriors on Tuesday...

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Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant between plays against the Portland Trail Blazers during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports)
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant between plays against the Portland Trail Blazers during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks currently sit in the depths of the NBA standings, and with an early Kristaps Porzingis return likely out of the question, there's little hope for a miracle run at the postseason.

There's plenty to look forward to with young players like Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier impressing, a high draft pick on the way and, perhaps most importantly, a shot at a major free agent come July. It's no secret the Knicks are going to pursue a franchise-alterer like Kevin Durant or Kawhi Leonard.

But what if they say no?

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Kristaps Porzingis
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New York Knicks center Enes Kanter controls the ball against Washington Wizards center Thomas Bryant during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks center Enes Kanter controls the ball against Washington Wizards center Thomas Bryant during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Trade talks for Knicks center Enes Kanter continue to gain traction. 

On Wednesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Knicks and Kings have been engaged in talks that would exchange Kanter for Zach Randolph, but nothing is close yet. 

Kanter and Randolph -- the latter of which has not played this season -- both have expiring contracts and the Kings reportedly are looking to deal more expiring contracts and a third team could potentially get involved. 

Tags: Enes Kanter
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 (Thanasis Petrakis/YouTube)
(Thanasis Petrakis/YouTube)

A look back at how Kevin Durant's 66-point game at Rucker Park in 2011 made him a New York City hoops hero.

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January 8, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (3) shoots the basketball against Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)
January 8, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (3) shoots the basketball against Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)

The Knicks were no match for the star-studded Warriors, who put New York away with ease in a 122-95 victory on Tuesday night. >> Box score

Things to know about Tuesday's game

1. The Knicks appeared to be holding their own against the Warriors early, taking a 49-48 lead over Golden State with 3:02 remaining in the first half. However, the Warriors flipped a switch and went on a 13-1 run to close out the half with a 61-49 lead. 

2. The Knicks had no answers for Klay Thompson, who had a game-high 43 points and shot 7 of 16 from beyond the arc. The Warriors as a team shot 14 of 45 from three-point range which the Knicks could not compete with, hitting just 6 of 24 three-point attempts. 

Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Golden State Warriors, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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Jan 8, 2019; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson (1) goes up for a shot against Wake Forest Demon Deacons guard Sharone Wright Jr. (2) in the second half at Lawrence Joel Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (Jeremy Brevard)
Jan 8, 2019; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson (1) goes up for a shot against Wake Forest Demon Deacons guard Sharone Wright Jr. (2) in the second half at Lawrence Joel Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (Jeremy Brevard)

As expected, the No. 1-ranked Duke Blue Devils took down Wake Forest in dominant fashion -- an 87-65 rout on the road. And though this has been the norm for this Duke team this season, what Zion Williamson posted on the stat sheet was historic.

The Demon Deacons were no match for Williamson, as he posted 30 points -- a career high -- on 13-of-16 shooting from the field. But that wasn't it. Williamson had a double-double with 10 rebounds, and he tallied five assists, four steals, and one block on the night. 

This performance, according to ESPN Stats & Info, made Williamson the only DI player to post a 30-10-5-4 line with 80 percent shooting from the field in the past 20 years. Sixers PG Ben Simmons posted the same line back when he was a freshman at LSU, but he didn't shoot 80 percent or better from the field...

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Durant talks Knox and Knicks 00:01:07
Does Kevin Durant tip his hand about possibly coming to New York and joining the Knicks?

It has been nearly three years since Kevin Durant first dubbed Kristaps Porzingis a "unicorn," but the Warriors forward will not be getting the chance to go up against the Knicks' mythical creature when they square off on Tuesday. 

Instead Porzingis continues to recover from his ACL surgery, which he had 11 months ago, but Durant offered some words of encouragement for the 23-year-old during Tuesday's morning shootaround. 

"I hope he recovers from his injury and gets to play the game that he loves," Durant said. "The fans in New York and his teammates love having him out there. I know how tough injuries are. Being away from the game so long can be tough ... hopefully he gets back on the court."

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis
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Oct 26, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Trey Burke (23) controls the ball against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 26, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Trey Burke (23) controls the ball against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Two teams with losing streaks at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., clash at the venue Tuesday night when the New York Knicks duel the Golden State Warriors.

The Knicks (10-30) will be making the final stop on a six-game trip highlighted by a 119-112 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night but that has seen the Knicks lose four games, including Monday night at Portland, 111-101.

That loss to the Trail Blazers came despite double-doubles from Enes Kanter (18 points, 14 rebounds) and Noah Vonleh (16 points, 14 rebounds). >> Read more

Tags: Golden State Warriors
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Dec 21, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks executive chairman James Dolan watches during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 21, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks executive chairman James Dolan watches during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

James Dolan believes the Knicks need some star power. 

The owner of both the Knicks and Rangers spoke with reporters on Monday, and as the Knicks dropped to 10-31 with a 111-101 loss to the Trail Blazers, he said the difference between the two teams he owns is that the Rangers have a star in Henrik Lundqvist.

"If the Knicks had a Henrik, they'd probably be competing for a playoff spot," he said, per Stefan Bondy of the Daily News. "No Henrik, no playoff spot."

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist, Kristaps Porzingis
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New York Knicks forward Noah Vonleh drives to the basket against Portland Trail Blazers forward Zach Collins and forward Al-Farouq Aminu during the first quarter at the Moda Center. (Steve Dykes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks forward Noah Vonleh drives to the basket against Portland Trail Blazers forward Zach Collins and forward Al-Farouq Aminu during the first quarter at the Moda Center. (Steve Dykes/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks followed their road win against the Los Angeles Lakers with a 111-101 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday at Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. >> Box score

Things to know about Monday's game

1. Since their 8-16 start, the Knicks have lost 14 of their last 16 games and have the third-worst record in the league. They snapped their eight-game winning streak on Friday at Staples Center.

2. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored just five points on 2-of-12 shooting, while New York was outshot 47.1 percent to 40.4 percent. Enes Kanter scored 18 points and brought down 14 rebounds off the bench.

Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Portland Trail Blazers, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson is helped off of the court after suffering an apparent ankle injury during the first half against the Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center. (Sam Sharpe/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson is helped off of the court after suffering an apparent ankle injury during the first half against the Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center. (Sam Sharpe/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks rookie center Mitchell Robinson is looking to return from a sprained ankle. He now has to deal with a strained groin, too.

While practicing for the first time since he last played on Dec. 14, Robinson slipped and strained his groin.

"I slipped, really. My shoes don't have grip because they're new. And the court that we were on was a little bit slippery," Robinson said, according to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy. "I was trying to play defense and I was running back on the court, and I stopped myself. And I just slipped."

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Knicks look to build on win 00:00:53
The Knicks beat the Lakers and now look to string two in a row as they take on the Trail Blazers.

Having just played two tough games against Western Conference contenders Oklahoma City and Houston, the Trail Blazers would seem to be stepping down in competition Monday night when they play host to the New York Knicks in Portland.

That's not the way the Blazers say they are looking at it, however.

"We won't overlook (the Knicks)," Portland point guard Damian Lillard said. "We're not one of those teams that can afford to do that. We have to be a certain way mentally. We have to play a certain way on the floor to win games."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Portland Trail Blazers
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New York Knicks center Enes Kanter looks to pass as Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews and forward Dwight Powell defend during the first half at American Airlines Center. (Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks center Enes Kanter looks to pass as Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews and forward Dwight Powell defend during the first half at American Airlines Center. (Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports)

Enes Kanter's battle with the Turkish government also includes former NBA player Hedo Turkoglu

Turkoglu, now a chief adviser to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan after a 16-year career in the NBA, was critical of the Knicks center on Monday in response to Kanter's comments that he was not flying to London with the team due to fears he could be murdered by Turkish spies. 

"Kanter can't enter the UK not because of fears for life as he claims but due to passport and visa issues," the former NBA player said in a statement via Twitter. "This being the long-known truth, he is trying to get the limelight with irrational justifications and political remarks. 

Tags: Enes Kanter
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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina warms up prior to the game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina warms up prior to the game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina will miss an undetermined amount of time, beginning with Monday's game against the Portland Trail Blazers with a strained left ankle, head coach David Fizdale said, according to The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov.

Ntilikina suffered the injury in the first quarter of Friday's 119-112 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. X-rays came back negative on Friday night.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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Nov 4, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) dunks the ball against the Washington Wizards during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Nov 4, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) dunks the ball against the Washington Wizards during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Enes Kanter may not have requested a trade, but that doesn't mean teams haven't called the Knicks about the big man.

According to The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov, the Knicks are already seeing interest on Kanter, and they are listening. However, no deal appears imminent at the moment. 

Kanter didn't ask for a trade, but he voiced his frustration with his playing time this season. After being the team's starting center when the season kicked off, Kanter has reverted to a bench role, and he clearly isn't happy about it...

Tags: Enes Kanter
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Sep 24, 2018; New York Knicks guard Courtney Lee (5) answers questions at Knicks Media Day in Greenburgh, NY, USA; at MSG training facility. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Sep 24, 2018; New York Knicks guard Courtney Lee (5) answers questions at Knicks Media Day in Greenburgh, NY, USA; at MSG training facility. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Courtney Lee is not bothered with the Knicks 2-13 record over their last 15 games and is taking an optimistic approach to the development of the Knicks' young talent.

"Being in this league for a while you understand that's the best direction to go in, especially having a young core," Lee said in a report from Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. "And then just to look at the record it's not what anybody wanted it to be right now, so one thing you can do to take a positive out of that is just developing the young guys. If you put yourself first, it's very difficult. But I understand it's for the betterment of the team."

Lee has not played over the last three games. His last appearence was Dec. 27 in the Knicks 112-96 loss at the Milwaukee Bucks where he scored nine points in 23 minutes of action. 

Tags: Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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It is not often the Knicks win a game these days. 

What is even more rare is for owner James Dolan to be there for a road game, sitting courtside and celebrating with the team in the locker room afterwards. 

But that is exactly what happened when the Knicks snapped an eight-game losing streak against a LeBron James-less Lakers team with a 119-112 victory on Friday night. 

Tags: Enes Kanter, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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New York Knicks center Enes Kanter controls the ball against Washington Wizards center Thomas Bryant during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks center Enes Kanter controls the ball against Washington Wizards center Thomas Bryant during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Enes Kanter will not travel with the Knicks to London for their regular season game against the Bucks on Jan. 16 because, he says, his life would be in danger. 

The 26-year-old center is a wanted criminal in Turkey because of his criticism against their president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and had his passport revoked by the Turkish government the last time he traveled overseas. 

He fears "spies" could target him in London. 

Tags: Enes Kanter
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The New York Knicks snapped their eight game losing streak against a LeBron-less Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Friday. The impressive team effort included hot starts from Tim Hardaway Jr and Kevin Knox and a statement return from Mario Hezonja who was a key factor down the stretch. >> Box score

Things to know about Friday's game

1) Tim Hardaway Jr led all scorers with 22 points and made it known he was a threat after draining three shots from behind the arc in the game's first six minutes. Hardaway Jr recently mentioned how he was not a fan of the team's losing ways, and looked like he put an emphasis on snapping the eight game losing streak tonight. 

Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Enes Kanter, Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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Oct 26, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 26, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Frank Ntilikina left Friday's game against the Lakers after registering just one minute of action following a left ankle strain in the first quarter. X-rays came back negative, but the sophomore point guard will not return to action. Ntiliknia grabbed one rebound and had one turnover before exiting. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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Before the Knicks take the Staples Center court on Friday to face off against the Lakers, let's flashback to last season for a moment. 

The Lakers began the year with a lot of change to their team makeup. Two rookies -- PG Lonzo Ball and F Kyle Kuzma -- joined Brandon Ingram as the young core of the team, while Brook Lopez and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were also fresh faces to round out the starting five for LA. They were led by Luke Walton, who was in his second year with the team after coming over from the Warriors.

As many expected, there wasn't much success as the rebuilding project spearheaded by Magic Johnson continued to roll along. Now, there were spurts where the Lakers would beat opponents like the Rockets, Celtics, and Sixers. But most of the time, they tallied their games in the loss column.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Scott Thompson
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New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox drives to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks guard Tony Snell during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox drives to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks guard Tony Snell during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Kevin Knox and the Knicks face the Lakers on Friday at 10:30 p.m. And though LeBron James won't be playing due to a groin injury, Knicks head coach David Fizdale hopes to arrange a meeting between New York's rookie and the three-time NBA champion.

"Just tell Kevin don't get too high or too low with all of the scrutiny that comes with it," Fizdale said about what he hopes James can teach Knox, according to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy. "Cause he's been through all of that stuff, all of the highs of winning and losing and the criticisms that come with all of that stuff. So any of the guys that I've coached that I could utilize I'm going to try and steal them."

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Dec 12, 2018; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks center Bol Bol (1) shoots a basket over San Diego Toreros forward Yauhen Massalski (25) during the second half at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks beat the Toreros 65-55. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Wayrynen)
Dec 12, 2018; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks center Bol Bol (1) shoots a basket over San Diego Toreros forward Yauhen Massalski (25) during the second half at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks beat the Toreros 65-55. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Wayrynen)

Knicks 2019 draft target C Bol Bol he has a left foot injury that will end his freshman year at Oregon, per The Athletic's Shams Charania.

Bol is a projected Top 10 pick in the draft next year, with Tankathon's latest mock draft having him selected sixth overall to the Wizards. The 19-year-old will begin his rehab process in preparation for the draft immediately. 

Bol, the son of former NBA C Manute Bol, was having a tremendous year at Oregon. He was averaging 21 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game, while shooting 56.1 percent from the field. But the craziest stat produced by the 7-foot-2 center was his 52 percent shooting from beyond the arc (13-for-25). 

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Dec 1, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox (20) drives to the basket against the Milwaukee Bucks guard Tony Snell (21) during first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 1, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox (20) drives to the basket against the Milwaukee Bucks guard Tony Snell (21) during first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

After a breakout month of December, Knicks F Kevin Knox was named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month.

Knox had a slow start to the season, averaging 8.2 points and 2.4 rebounds over about 18.3 minutes per game. But, when head coach David Fizdale ramped up his minutes by putting him in the starting five, Knox found his groove.

The 19-year-old led all rookies in scoring with 17.1 points per game, three-pointers made with 33, and was second in rebounds with six per game. Over 14 games (nine starts), he recorded double-digit points 12 times, with six of those games scoring 20 or more points. 

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