The New York Knicks convened for their annual Media Day on Monday, Sept. 30. Players spoke, but which quotes from those with the microphone stood out the most?
On Monday, the New York Knicks held their annual Media Day. Players and team personnel spoke on free agency, expectations for the upcoming season and more. After the press finished with president Steve Mills, general manager Scott Perry and head coach David Fizdale, it was time for the players to take the microphone at the team’s practice facility.
The guys were brought in and were basically asked the same questions. Here are excerpts of some of the most important remarks made by them. If you want to see their entire interviews, just click on their name. If you notice, they all agree the most important thing is to win.
On team: Guys with the right mindset, that will do whatever it takes to win. Embracing being a leader on a team. Leader by example, make everybody better.
On coming to Knicks: Easy decision. Once I knew I could come to the Knicks, no brainer.
Feeling of playing at MSG. Got it done as soon as I could. Not taking playing here for granted.
On Mitchell Robinson: I’m excited. Mitch has no clue how talented he is, how good he can be. Me being a leader on this team, I’m definitely going to push him to maximize his potential.
Morris was New York’s most controversial signing, having reneged a contract with the San Antonio Spurs in early July. These were some of his first public comments since the situation arose:
On team: Biggest thing is there’s a lot of dawgs on this team. A lot of guys to go out and try to improve themselves. Guys willing to listen. The biggest thing I think is guys that’s still here have a chip on their shoulder from only winning 17 games. I think it’s gonna be a good year.
When asked what a dawg was he simply replied…You ever seen me play!
RJ Barrett was the high-profile acquisition from the 2019 NBA Draft. He already spoke at a formal introduction in June, but this was his first Media Day, 24 hours before training camp officially started:
On what he wants to accomplish: Really want to learn to compete.
On Vets: Really appreciates veteran leadership.
On Frank Ntlikina: Frank is a great talent.
One expectations: I’m looking forward to playing the game.
The Knicks signed Payton as competition at point guard. Having played for three teams in the past two seasons, the veteran backcourt player will look to secure the job for himself before the year begins:
On team: Trying to change culture. Type of guys I wanted to be a part of. Want to be a part of something.
On competition: Talk to Coach. I only care about winning.
On what he likes: The guys feel they have a lot to prove, they have chips on their shoulders, I like that.
The player Payton will likely battle with, Smith Jr. is confident in what this team will bring. As for goals, well, he chose not to say them, despite previously talking about one for Barrett:
On team: I like the guys, selfless players, tough. I’ve been saying all summer, can’t wait for the season to start! Different level of respect for guys when you see how hard they work. We’re two to three deep at every position, we will compete!
On goals: I have goals for myself and goals for the team, but I’m not saying them.
On Julius Randle: Elite scorer, nightmare.
Portis tied with Julius Randle as the second-most-expensive signing from New York’s offseason, as he is set to make $15 million in Year One:
On team: The team is the thing with me now, day by day, win games, camaraderie. All underdogs on one believes in; always picked second.
On goals: Can stretch the floor pretty well, can play 4 or 5. Worked on my three pointers, fun to see progress.
On Julius Randle: Went to high school together. Keeps getting better, joy to see.
A likely depth signing, Gibson is around to provide veteran leadership for the Knicks:
On team: New York was on my mind for a long time. Makeup of guys who want to put games first. Would fly and get with each other to play. Sense of urgency competing, hungry underdogs; want to win and prove people wrong.
On veteran leadership: I want to try to be there to help coaching staff, will do whatever it takes. Winning atmosphere, veteran atmosphere. Challenging them everyday.
On New York City: The City will love you if you play five minutes hard.
On Julius Randle: Very vocal on winning!
Knox will enter his second NBA season, and he is ready to improve from a rocky first year:
On team: Totally different feel, very electric, very vocal, different atmosphere.
On expectations: To have a lot better season, got better at end of season. Want to be able to produce from many positions.
On veterans: Vets will help a lot, push me, go at me in practice, will compete to start.
On RJ Barrett: He’s calm, cool and collected. Adjusts really well.
The entire team was on hand for Media Day, with “winning” as theme throughout.
Training camp is tomorrow, and the speculation is about to end. Will they be winners this season, and if so, how far will they go? Preseason begins against the Wizards on Oct. 7.