Knicks: 4 things Obi Toppin revealed about himself in Players’ Tribune article

NY Knicks, Obi Toppin, Mitchell Robinson (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
NY Knicks, Obi Toppin, Mitchell Robinson (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /
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Obi Toppin, NY Knicks (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Things Knicks rookie Obi Toppin revealed: He’s comfortable with the worst of NY criticism

Being the son of Dunker’s Delight, Toppin had the luxury of playing with his dad on Court Kingz when he was just 12 years old.

And though it might not be Madison Square Garden, park ballers are sure as heck not free from brutal city criticism. It was one of the things he mentioned about playing on courts like Rucker Park:

"“When you’re on those courts, there’s no faking it. You either ball or you’re gonna hear about it. And when I say “hear about it,” I don’t mean a coach pulling you aside. I mean the announcer on the mic, the other team, everybody in the bleachers, and the people hanging out of windows — or 30 floors up on a roof — letting you hear about it.”"

There’s no ambient noise or arena-grade loudspeakers between the spectators letting you hear about it at Rucker Park like there is at Madison Square Garden. It’s you and the shouting.

Professional basketball and the rough feedback that can come not only from New Yorkers, but fans all across the country (and the world, thanks to social media) may be on another level, but Toppin has a familiarity and understanding with the type of heel turns New Yorkers can make to Knicks players who underperform. That’s not going to be a shock to him when he makes his first mistakes as a Knick.

Knowing what to expect there and that you’ll have to persevere is key. You don’t have to be a New Yorker to succeed as a Knick, but it sure can’t hurt.