5. A Culture Of Accountability
As previously alluded to, the New York Knicks now have eight former top-10 draft picks on the roster. Those players are Trey Burke, Mario Hezonja, Enes Kanter, Kevin Knox, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, and Noah Vonleh.
There’s no possible way to guarantee that all eight of those players will simultaneously realize their potential, but a culture of accountability has been created.
Every one of those players has faced some measure of adversity during their NBA careers. Knox may be the exception as an incoming rookie, but even he fell to No. 9 overall in a draft class that could be remembered as one that egregiously underrated him.
Even Porzingis is recovering from a torn ACL that has some questioning whether or not he’ll be able to return to the All-Star level he played at in 2017-18.
Knowing this to be true, head coach David Fizdale has been empowered in a remarkable way. He’s essentially working with basketball clay; supremely talented basketball players with youth on their side, but no reason for an ego considering their careers are in limbo.
If Vonleh and the rest of the former top-10 draft picks are willing to check their egos at the door, the Knicks could build something special.