Morning Knicks 8/13: John Calipari Pumps Up Kenny Payne, Knox Works Out With Durant, and More
-Kentucky head coach John Calipari spoke on the Knicks' hiring of Kenny Payne, and as expected, Coach Cal loves the move. Calipari said "His strength is the relationships he builds through development, player development, and it’s both mental and physical, but that’s his strength, and he can do it in a way where he can challenge and push and make them uncomfortable. Yet, they know he cares." While Calipari is known for pumping up his guys Knicks fans have to be excited for what Payne will mean to this staff and organization. The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov has more on Calipari and what it means for New York.
-The Payne hiring has been met with a ton of praise, as the general consensus is that he can be an impact coach. That being said, there are still questions as to what specifically Payne can bring to New York. Our own Jonathan Macri wrote about the five biggest questions on Payne, including how he'll work with Tom Thibodeau, his player development skills, whether this move helps former Kentucky Wildcats Julius Randle and Kevin Knox, and more. Jonathan also reported that while the Knicks are unsure if they'll hire someone to fill Craig Robinson's role, Payne will have a "big role" in the Knicks' player development efforts.
-Our own Kris Pusiainen did some social media investigating to discover that Kevin Knox was playing with Kevin Durant and Spencer Dinwiddie among others, with Knox guarding Durant. It makes sense that the New York players are working out together, and fans can only hope this offseason work will make a difference for Knox when the Knicks get back on the court.
-Former Knicks Greg Anthony has joined the Knicks' new hire bandwagon. Anthony spoke with Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News and said "if I’m a Knick fan, I feel better about my organization today than I did prior to the shutdown.” Anthony is a fan of the coaching and front office hires, and it will be interesting to see if he goes the LaVar Ball route and tries to push his son Cole to New York. You can read more about Anthony's optimism here.