The NBA has had numerous players who have come and gone. Some were top draft picks that are now considered busts by fans and others had careers that were cut short due to injuries. Former New York Knick Cleanthony Early was one of those players whose time in the NBA was short-lived.
Early was drafted by the Knicks as the No. 34 overall pick in the 2014 draft. While in New York, he played for the Knicks and their D-league affiliate (now G League) the Westchester Knicks.
On Mar. 25, 2015, Early had a career-high 18 points and 5 rebounds against the Los Angeles Clippers.
In 2015-16, Early’s season with New York was cut short after he was shot in the kneecap while leaving a Queens strip club with his girlfriend on Dec. 30. He would later return to the team in March, but in October of 2016 he was waived and acquired by Westchester shortly after.
A couple of months later, Early was traded to the Golden State Warriors’ D-League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, in December of 2016.
In a recent interview Early did with ESPN, he stated he was unhappy while playing in New York.
“I would say when I got with the Knicks, s— was so crazy, even on the court, [that] basketball stopped being fun for the first time as a professional.
Former New York Knicks forward Cleanthony Early is balling overseas
Early may not have enjoyed playing ball in New York, but he certainly is enjoying the game overseas. He’s played for teams in Greece, France, and Saudi Arabia and he seems to be enjoying every minute of it.
“I’ve been having fun since I went overseas. When I was in the D League, I was having a little bit more fun again … Taking my talent and playing overseas has been great. I’ve had tons of fun, met great people, experienced great cultures, great countries, seen different places I didn’t even know existed.”
Early is currently playing for the Cape Town Tigers of the Basketball Africa League. The team made it to the quarterfinals but sadly their season ended this past Sunday. Early scored 15 points in the team’s loss to US Monastir.