Theo Pinson reveals heartbreaking details about leaving Knicks last year

New York Knicks, Theo Pinson (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
New York Knicks, Theo Pinson (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Is Theo Pinson the real reason why the New York Knicks haven’t been successful this season? Last year, New York made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2012-13, and guess who was on the roster… Pinson.

In the guard’s first year in the league in 2018-19, the Nets made it to the playoffs for the first time in four years. Brooklyn went on to make the playoffs the following year as well.

Pinson carried that magic over to Manhattan when he was claimed by New York off waivers in June of 2020. The Knicks declined his team option on Nov. 19 and signed him to a two-way contract 10 days later.

In his one season with New York, he played in 17 games and averaged 0.1 points and shot 11.1% on an average of two minutes per game. When you look at those numbers, of course it makes sense why the Knicks didn’t re-sign him.

However, the 15th man isn’t on the roster to put up numbers on the floor because clearly, that type of player rarely steps foot on the court.

Pinson brought an energy that the team desperately needed and even after New York’s playoff run, he was still present around the practice facilities because he didn’t believe that his time with the Knicks would soon be over.

Theo Pinson wanted to remain with the New York Knicks after last season.

New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy spoke with Pinson recently, who revealed that it was his wish to remain in New York:

"“It was weird. I did want to come back. I love New York City. I love the fans. I love the atmosphere,” Pinson said. “I went to UNC. So clearly I want to be on the big stage. That was nothing new to me, I loved it. That first game in Madison Square Garden in the playoffs, it was unreal. You can’t dream of stuff like that. I was there all summer. I was in New York all summer. Just trying to keep my foot in the door. I didn’t know what direction they were going to go in, so I tried to make a good impression and stay around, work out with everybody and everything. And it just didn’t work out. Just had to move on.”"

Instead, the Bucks signed Pinson to their Summer League roster and he made a pit stop in Boston for training camp before making his way to Dallas, where he signed a two-way contract with the Mavericks in January.

Ryan Arcidiacono occupies the Knicks’ current 15th man spot. He’s appeared in three games and is averaging one point per game. In fact, Arcidiacono recently scored his first points with New York from beyond the arc.

No offense to Arcidiacono but it’d be nice to have Pinson back, especially given how the year has gone for the Knicks. Although he spent the majority of his time on the sidelines, Pinson helped to uplift spirits and stepped in as one of the team’s honorary coaches.

He’s currently out with a fractured finger but knowing Pinson, he’s going to still be involved when New York faces Dallas tonight.

Pinson – just because the front office no longer wanted you doesn’t mean that fans feel the same way. You’d be a bright spot amidst an otherwise dark year. Hopefully, we’ll get to see you again one day on the Knicks.