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Apr 23, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Quentin Richardson (center) celebrates with center Tyson Chandler (6) and shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) on the sidelines against the Boston Celtics during game two in the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 87-71. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NBA Playoffs: Quentin Richardson grateful to be a Knick

He may never get off of the bench for the New York Knicks during the 2013 NBA Playoffs, but that’s just fine with Quentin Richardson.

After spending much of the season as an unsigned free agent, Richardson is grateful for the opportunity that the Knicks have given him. He’s thrilled to once again don a Knicks jersey as they make their run through the playoffs.

Apr. 17, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Quentin Richardson (55) on the court against the Atlanta Hawks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Richardson isn’t new to the Knicks. His role may be different, as he was a starter during his first stint in the Big Apple from 2005-09. Now Richardson is buried at the end of the Knicks bench, but he’s excited for the opportunity nonetheless.

Hoopsworld’s Alex Kennedy wrote a fantastic column highlighting Richardson’s excitement. Here are some highlights of what he had to say:

“I was actually in L.A. at the time and I got wind of it around 6 a.m. in the morning,” Richardson told HOOPSWORLD in a phone interview. “My agent, Jeff Wechsler, gave me a call and he was like, ‘Well, I told you to stay in shape. Somebody wants to work you out.’ I asked, ‘Who?’ He said, ‘The Knicks.’ I was just like, ‘Wow!’ I had to wake up because I was half asleep. He started to tell me what was going on and then things progressed so quickly throughout the day. It was a quick timeline, like bam, bam, bam. I had a 4:30 p.m. flight from LAX to JFK, got in at 1:15 a.m. and got out here to my hotel in White Plains at 2:30 a.m. Then, I was up early the next morning around 7 a.m. to get a physical and then I was at the gym around 11 a.m. I was officially a Knick again. It was crazy. I have the best agent. Period.”

I give Richardson a lot of credit.

It has to be hard for an NBA veteran to stay in great condition and wait for a call, even when that phone never rings.

But I also like the fact that Richardson won’t be a distraction. Usually veterans of the league want to be on the floor contributing, but even his he doesn’t get one single minute of playing time, Q will be a positive influence in the Knicks locker room- a locker room that already has a ton of leadership.

He’s earned that reputation and he could be beneficial to the Knicks even if he doesn’t score a single point in the playoffs.

“I’ve played in this league for 13 years and I know the Celtics players, all of the main key guys,” Richardson said. “I know what they do and how they play. Even if I’m not out there, I feel that I have a lot of knowledge to offer up from the sidelines. If I’m on the sidelines, I’ll point out certain things and give tips. Anything I can do to help, I’m all in. I’m definitely thankful to God and to the Knicks organization – Jim Dolan and everyone here – for bringing me back here. I’m going to do everything I can for this team, whether I play or not, because I’m absolutely appreciative of this opportunity.”

“I’m not going to be someone who is going to be a distraction if I don’t play,” Richardson added. “I’m just here completely to be a part of the team and do whatever it takes to help the Knicks advance and get better. Whether that’s me being on the court battling for loose balls and taking charges or me just trying to help by saying the things that I see and being there for everybody’s needs, I’m all in for whatever. I’m completely humbled and appreciative of this opportunity. It’s just a blessing.”

Richardson is grateful just to be wearing an NBA uniform during the playoffs and he’s the type of player that will do anything he has to win a championship.

Whether it’s coming into the game in a pinch and knocking down a three or simply sitting on the bench and cheering on his teammates, Q will do whatever it takes.  When the Knicks are coming off the floor for a timeout, Richardson has usually been the first player off the bench to greet the guys coming off the floor. That type of energy he provides is contagious.

He’s excited for the opportunity and is grateful for the Knicks for giving him the opportunity.

In return the Knicks should be grateful for his professionalism and his wisdom.

Richardson is one of the games good people. It’s nice to see him being a part of what the Knicks currently have going on.

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Tags: 2013 NBA Playoffs NBA Playoffs New York Knicks Quentin Richardson

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