The New York Knicks drafted Kentucky Wildcats forward Kevin Knox, but he was met with boos. Knox is already using it as motivation.
The New York Knicks selected Kentucky Wildcats forward Kevin Knox with the No. 9 overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft. It was a somewhat surprising choice by the front office, as polarizing yet coveted prospect Michael Porter Jr. was still on the board.
While the front office is confident that it made the right choice, Knicks fans who were in attendance at the 2018 NBA Draft didn’t exactly offer Knox a warm welcome.
When the pick was announced, the crowd offered a mixed reaction of optimistic cheers and thunderous boos. More importantly: Knicks fans were chanting Porter’s name—even after Knox had been revealed as the selection.
According to Ian Begley of ESPN New York, Knox heard the boos and chants for Porter, but he’s already found a way to gain perspective and utilize it as motivation.
"“They booed Porzingis (on draft night) and look where he is now. That’s the same mindset I’m going to have. They can chant Michael Porter all they want. But they got Kevin Knox, and I’m willing to work and I’m willing to get better.”"
Only time will tell if Knox will be able to put his money where his mouth is, but he’s already showing the mental toughness that New York will require him to have.
While the chants of his name could easily be perceived as disrespectful, Porter was an undeniably appealing prospect. He was an early favorite to go No. 1 overall, as well as a special talent who’s believed to have genuine star potential.
Porter is also a prospect with medical red flags, however, which resulted in a stunning slide to the Denver Nuggets at No. 14 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Knox is far from a consolation prize, as he possesses his own unique combination of size, length, skill, and athleticism. Prior to the 2018 NBA Draft, both Jonathan Givony of ESPN and The Ringer had him pegged as the No. 9 overall prospect in this class.
Thus, while passing on Porter may have been a surprising decision, offering Knox anything other than support would be counterintuitive on a number of levels.
Kevin Knox will now have to justify the investment, but the New York Knicks made a calculated and justifiable decision at the 2018 NBA Draft.