The New York Knicks were right about Kevin Knox

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 14: Kevin Knox #20 of the New York Knicks looks on during the game against the Charlotte Hornets on December 14, 2018 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 14: Kevin Knox #20 of the New York Knicks looks on during the game against the Charlotte Hornets on December 14, 2018 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Were the New York Knicks on-point with Kevin Knox all along?

New York Knicks rookie Kevin Knox is clearly far from reaching his ultimate potential, yet the early glimpses of stardom in the young forward’s game prove the team finally made a right decision.

Like a missed fast break opportunity, the transition from excitement to disappointment was painful. The ball seemed to be on a direct trajectory for an easy bucket as the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Collin Sexton.

Michael Porter, Jr., the draft pick who would end the eternal suffering of the Knicks, was in our hands. I stood from my seat in the Barclays Center, along with the rest of the Knicks faithful that had made the trip, and cheered as the Cavs made their selection. Knicks fans tend to be foolishly optimistic.

As the clock wound down on the Knicks selection, there was belief throughout the building that a franchise that had broken fan’s hearts time and time again with illogical decisions would make the correct one. As the team’s pick was announced, I could feel a familiar dagger to my optimism, the Knicks fans in attendance were devastated, and yet the team had made the right decision.

Knox should not have been the best decision the Knicks could have made. The team has a tendency to lose even when they are winning. After losing franchise star Kristaps Porzingis to a torn ACL in early February, the team should have packed their bags for Brooklyn and forfeited the rest of the seasons’ games to secure the highest lottery odds. New York instead limped their way to eleventh in the Eastern Conference. Not quite good enough to play meaningful basketball, yet still not terrible enough to secure a franchise-altering star in the draft.

When the 2018 draft’s first eight picks had been made, there was not a better option than Kevin Knox. The Knicks had made too many mistakes to deserve a Deandre Ayton, or a Luka Doncic, but they did accomplish something of which they previously seemed incapable. The Knicks accepted their failures, and they moved forward. They did not cash in their chips for instant gratification in a washed-up star or sacrifice future draft picks to move their name up a couple slots in this year’s draft order.

The Knicks messed up losing, something only the Knicks could accomplish. Yet their ability to move past their mistakes, stick with their guts and select the guy they believed could be the most impactful to the future of the franchise is encouraging.

The young Kentucky product has begun to prove his team’s booing fanbase wrong, and the team’s front office surprisingly accurate. Knox has shown legitimate flashes of a capable number two option alongside Porzingis. Eye-opening performances against the Bucks and Hornets, scoring 26 in each of the two contests, have given Knicks fans fuel to their unbreakable optimism.

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I was excited about the New York Knicks use of their first-round draft pick last summer. Yet the front office’s ability to disregard the pressure from fans who fall in love with the biggest names is something very new from the team. Three months into the season, Porter, Jr., my draft night obsession, has yet to take the floor for the Denver Nuggets, and Knox has proved that the Knicks actually got one right.