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Brown: 5 Takeaways From 2018 Knicks Media Day

Knicks Preseason Opener A Week Away

September 24, 2018 - 1:45 pm

By Jake Brown

Just like that, basketball season is right around the corner. NBA Media Day took place Monday, and the Knicks spoke to the media for the first time.

First off, a couple of quick notes on the Knicks as they enter training camp. They are nearing a buyout with Joakim Noah, according to a few reports. He was not at Media Day on Monday. There is a good chance that gets done this week. Courtney Lee was at Media Day as he has been the subject of trade rumors, saying he is excited to be here with the Knicks. There's a good chance that Lee is in the starting lineup. 

There is a lot of positive hype going around under new head coach David Fizdale. Now, let's take a look at five players who spoke at Media Day that you should be keeping an eye out for. 

Kristaps Porzingis And His Recovery

The Knicks' franchise player said there is no timetable on a return from his torn ACL that occured in February. It will depend on when he is medically cleared. He also said he's not thinking about a possible contract extension right now. Porzingis said that he's feeling really, really good and his leg is getting stronger.

“Whenever I’m ready, I’m going to be back. I’m getting itchy, and I want to be back on the court as soon as possible. But it won’t happen until I am 110 percent and medically cleared.

"We've done things differently because there is no protocol for a 7-3 guy. There is no timetable for my type of body, my size and all that. We've done things differently, very conservative and at the same time (I've been) killing myself working. We're just going to have to keep moving forward, keep progressing and see when is the right time for me to be back.

“So far it’s good vibes around here, good energy around here. It’s good to be in an environment like this. We’ll see. I just got here from Europe, but there is good energy. That’s the first thing I saw and am happy about.”

Kevin Knox & His Rookie Season

All eyes will be on Knox in his rookie season, especially since the Knicks will be without Porzingis for most of it. The 19-year-old has a shot to win a spot in the starting lineup with a strong training camp and preseason. Knox brings a lot of excitement and hype to this team coming into the season. 

“I just feel like we had one of the best summers out of any NBA team for this upcoming season. The work we put in this summer, we got everyone in great shape. The energy we have in the locker room and on the court is fun to be around. I feel like we have a bond, a chemistry, that’s going to help us on the court.

"We’ve been together all summer -- like 14 guys -- being in the gym, playing pickup ball every day. I just feel like the energy we have right now is going to go on towards the season, and we’re going to have a great year together.”

Frank Ntilikina & Bulking Up 

The Knicks' second-year guard is looking to improve upon what was a shaky rookie season. The Knicks need Ntilikina to bulk up, and he did just that. In fact, the Frenchman reported to camp an inch and a half taller at 6-foot-6 with 15 pounds of muscle added to his slender frame. Ntilikina likes what Fizdale has preached to him, which is playing to his own strengths. 

“Yeah, he was really big in just letting me play on my instinct and for me to stop thinking. I think that’s what, with the way it was last year the problem was thinking too much on the court, which brought my confidence down. As soon as he came to me, the first talk we had was about this and him letting me play, letting me be confident on the court. I think having a coach like this is really, really good for your mindset. That’s why I’m really excited about this year.”

Trey Burke & Fighting For Starting PG Spot

After lighting up the G League last season, Burke was called up and played very well for the Knicks. He is just 25 years old and was a lottery pick in 2013. A change of scenery coming to a big market may be the best thing to happen to him. Burke is more confident and more explosive offensively than Ntilikina, which could lead to him starting when the Knicks open the season. He's put in a lot of work in the offseason to try and make that happen. 

“I wanted to take it up another notch. I wanted to take my athleticism, speed and quickness to another level. I expect to be playing a lot of minutes this year, so conditioning was huge for me.

“Coach Fizdale wants us to play fast and in transition. I know that plays to my strength. When I can get out in transition and create, I’ll get to the rim more. I plan on taking more 3s when it’s given to me and not force it. I love that shot.”

Enes Kanter & His Hilarious Commentary 

The Knicks center became a fan favorite in his first season in New York last year. He will be the starting center and a focal point for this team with Porzingis missing at least half of the season.

Kanter really wants to get back to the playoffs like he did with the Thunder. In fact, it would really excite him.

"When I think about the playoffs, my nipples get hard." 

That quote stole the show as Kanter continues to be a favorite with the media. 

The Knicks will open their preseason schedule against the Wizards in a week on the road on Monday, Oct. 1. They open the regular season on Oct. 17 at Madison Square Garden against the Hawks. 

You can follow Jake on Twitter for more on the Knicks this season @JakeBrownRadio.