Kevin Knox said he could not finally meet LeBron James after helping to lead the Knicks on Sunday at the Garden to an impressive 124:12 victory over the Lakers. Knox's parents and his little brother were in town, and spending time with them was the priority of the beginner.
But Knicks coach David Fizdale did not let Knox out of the garden without introducing him to James, and they met shortly before the Knicks left Toronto, according to one source.
Fizdale had wanted Knox to meet James in the hope that the NBA legend would give the beginner some advice, but he was unsuccessful until Sunday. Fizdale and James are friends from their Miami days when Fizdale was Heat's top assistant. James gave Fizdale a hug before the tee.
Knox was not as confronted with James as he had expected at his first meeting on the field ̵
"Hello, Kevin Knox," said Fizdale. "It was good that he played well. He has his ups We know it's there. It's a question of the ball and the trust. He came out with a shot he would release today. He attacked and went to rebounds. "
In fact, Knox pushed the ball up in the first quarter to start the attack after both defensive rebounds. He finished six boards and was a plus of 7.
"I just came out aggressively and took some shots, had some nice layups," Knox said. "My teammates found me for some nice passes, and coach Fizdale made some nice passes for me."
Mario Hezonja proved the hero in the final seconds block on James (after not playing 12 games), but this was a Progress for Knox, who had shot only 36 percent, Knox guarded James only once when he forced him into missing a 3-pointer in the last two minutes In the days before the game, Fizdale had promised Knox would be much guarded by James, but Hezonja did the job well.
"I'm struggling a bit," said Knox, who shot well three of the last four field trips and the next encounter with Raptors star Kawhi Leonard. "But the whole team and the coaching team have Trust me, I know that I would come out of the series [cold]. "
For Lakers coach Luke Walton, it was not a good sign that James was sitting in the last seat of the bench during a break and never joined a group in the first half. James was out of the game at the time. Before the game, Walton said he would continue to seek the advice of former Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who was wrong with James when the Zen master ran the Knicks. Walton said Jackson has visited the Lakers facility.
"I stay in touch with him," Walton said. "He is very helpful. My spirits are good. Just talking about basketball and running stuff, getting suggestions on different ways to accomplish things. He was great. "
DeAndre Jordan was the unsung hero of the Knicks and came in the triple-double range. The veteran center scored 15 points with 17 rebounds and seven assists