Kevin Knox Sr. is biased, but he firmly believes his son -- second-year Knicks forward Kevin Knox -- is on the verge of something great.
A former professional athlete himself in the NFL during the 1994 campaign as a wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills out of Florida State (1990-93), Knox Sr. told Berman that he sees his son blooming like a rose after 2019-20 is complete.
"All roses don't bloom at the same time," Knox Sr. said. "(Kentucky head coach) John Calipari tried to tell you all. This is a rose. It will bloom. He's going to be a butterfly. We're just cocooning right now. When he gets out of the cocoon, he's going to fly and be a very beautiful butterfly. It's a process."
"You'll be talking to me a year from now saying, 'Wow, that rose looks real pretty and red.'"
Through 58 games, Knox averages 6.5 points on 36.2 percent shooting while grabbing 3.7 rebounds and dishing 1.0 assists in 18.1 minutes.
While his numbers might seem tame, he has made an impact especially on the defensive side of the floor, emerging as a challenger of shots with improved post defense and correct rotational decisions.
The Knicks' perceived improvements -- and the 20-year-old Knox's long-term potential -- made the organization ultimately pass on inquiries from other teams regarding the 2018 draft's No. 9 overall pick.
SNY's Ian Begley reported Friday that the Knicks were "reluctant" to deal Knox in advance of the NBA trade deadline Feb. 6, with recent comments from interim head coach Mike Miller reinforcing the belief in the Kentucky product.
"I can really speak for this year, just from the beginning to where he's at, where his focus was," Miller said last Wednesday. "Coached him in Summer League two years ago, his rookie year, so have obviously been around him and know him well. Seeing just more plays where he's impacting the game, whereas, young guys see the offenses how they're impacting -- he's doing it a lot of different ways. We're challenging him, 'Rebound more. Be more active defensively. Get more deflections.'"
"Just consistently being in the right spot. You wouldn't even know because what our coverages are. And then taking advantage of stuff out of the offensive system to help him get good, quality shots and then what he can do on his own. So there's a lot of things in there and we're seeing things growing there. We just, now -- it's let's get those game to games where it's like, 'OK, those are two really good ones. Let's make it three, four, five."
Knox, who spent only the 2017-18 season at Kentucky after joining the Wildcats as a five-star recruit out of Tampa (Fla.) Catholic and the 247Sports Composite's No. 11 overall prospect for the 2017 class, personally feels the progress.
"I had a great All-Star break down in Florida, got some real good work in, spent some time with family," said Knox, who averaged 15.6 points on 44.5-percent shooting in 32.4 minutes per game at UK. "Just really get my mind off basketball over the last first half of the season, really just getting ready for this second half. I'm really excited, I think we're going to have a really good second half of the season, team wise and personal wise. So I was just very excited to get back to New York, get back to playing some ball."