Basketball Insiders Q & A: Getting to Know Kyle O’Quinn


Kyle O’Quinn has agreed to a $16M over four-year deal with the New York Knicks. New York acquired O’Qinn through a sign-and-trade with the Orlando Magic. O’Quinn is a New York native, born and raised in Queens, New York.

Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders recently had a Q & A with O’Quinn [click here for full interview], below are some excerpts that highlights O’Quinn’s personality and the type of player the Knicks are getting from the sign-and-trade.

Basketball Insiders: Your family lives in New York, so how excited are they about this move?

Kyle O’Quinn: “My parents are super excited. They’re going to be able to go to all of my home games and see me more. My dad is the excited the most, because he likes to be around me a lot and he says this is making up for the years that I was away in college and in Orlando. He thought I’d never come back to New York, but it worked out. My mom, she’s in security mode right now. She’s happy for me, but she’s laying out ground rules. She wants it to be clear to people that this isn’t some big family reunion and that I’m not always going to be accessible. She’s telling me, ‘You aren’t coming home for a family reunion. You have a job to do and you need to work.’ I told her, ‘I know, I know!’”

Basketball Insiders: Did you grow up as a fan of the Knicks?

Kyle O’Quinn: “Oh, of course I grew up a Knicks fan; if you’re from New York, you’ve gotta grow up a Knicks fan. They are always on T.V. and they dominated my T.V. growing up. And whatever the Knicks do – whether they’re doing good or bad – it’s always on the front page of the sports section. It was good entertainment for me when I was a young’un. I wasn’t raised in a crazy basketball family, but the Knicks always had a place in our hearts. The crazy thing is, my first NBA game I ever went to was the Knicks vs. the Magic at Madison Square Garden.”

Basketball Insiders: Do you have any idea what role you’re going to have on the Knicks? Have you talked to Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher about that yet?

Kyle O’Quinn: “I think I’ll have a solid back-up role at first and then I’ll just work from there. I’m approaching it like I’m coming in as a rookie and have to work hard and prove myself. I do think that back-up big man role is pretty open and I want to capitalize on that. I talked to Arron the other day when he heard the deal was going to go down and he told me, ‘This is an opportunity to play and get a more significant role. The team wasn’t that successful last year so it’s not like certain guys have to start.’ I honestly don’t know my exact role, I’ll give you a better answer when I get there, but I’m going in ready to do whatever I can to get on the court and contribute. I’m coming in ready and I’m handling my business so that I can fill any role asked of me.”

Basketball Insiders: What aspects of your game are you working on this offseason as you train at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas?

Kyle O’Quinn: “I’m working on the same things I always do. I’m trying to expand my game, learn from my mistakes last year and focus on little things like screen-setting, rolling out of screens faster, picking my spots on the pop shot. Of course, I’m working on my jump-shot, some go-to moves in the post, my conditioning and body, things like that. The biggest thing for me is sharpening up the things that I do well. I do want to get better at shooting corner threes. Last year, I was asked to do that and I want to keep working on that and expanding my range. I’m just sharpening everything so that I’m more comfortable and confident with my shot. At Impact, they help you become an all-around player, so I’ll be ready to play any role that’s asked of me. I’m following the Impact plan.”

Next: Three Reasons to Love Kyle O'Quinn

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