New York Knicks fans who attended last month's NBA Draft in Brooklyn seemed to have, at best, mixed reactions when the team selected former University of Kentucky star Kevin Knox with the ninth overall pick.
Broadcast cameras throughout the building showed many spectators booing or giving a "thumbs-down" signal when commissioner Adam Silver announced the Knicks' first-round selection.
After Knox's debut in the NBA Summer League, those doubters may be cleaning a bit of egg off their faces. The 6-foot-9 forward was spectacular on Saturday, leading New York to a 91-89 win over Atlanta with a highlight-reel performance that elicited rave reviews on social media.
NBA analyst and sports columnist Bill Simmons tweeted after the game: "Congrats to Knicks fans on Kevin Knox. I try hard not to overreact to Summer League, but it's clear he's an ideal 2-way wing for whatever the NBA is now. Very polished for his age already."
Knox had team-highs with 22 points and eight rebounds, adding four assists and a block. His first basket of the game was a prelude of things to come. Knox grabbed a loose ball and went coast-to-coast for a monster dunk, one of several on the day.
It was an up-and-down debut for Kentucky's other first-round pick in this year's draft. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who averaged 14.4 points per game last year in his only season at Kentucky, scored 13 points in the Clippers' 77-71 loss to Golden State but knocked down just five of 19 shots. He had a team-high four assists and two blocks and turned the ball over just once.
Ex-Cats go toe-to-toe
Behind a huge night from Malik Monk, Charlotte edged Oklahoma City 88-87 Friday. Monk scored 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting and hit four of nine three-pointers. He also added two assists and two steals in his Summer League debut.
But Monk's big night was spoiled by some bad news. The Charlotte Observer reported on Saturday that Monk fractured his right thumb in Friday's win. Observer writer Rick Bonnell reported on twitter that Monk will miss 6-8 weeks with the injury.
Dakari Johnson did a bit of everything for Oklahoma City in the loss. The 7-foot, 255-pound center scored 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds to go along with three assists and three steals. Johnson had an assist on a game-tying basket late, hitting Daniel Hamilton as he cut through the lane for a layup with 17 seconds to play.
Briscoe comes up big in Magic debut
Former Kentucky guard Isaiah Briscoe was impressive in his return to U.S. basketball on Friday. Briscoe scored 16 points in Orlando's 86-80 win over Brooklyn. Briscoe started and went 6-for-12 from the floor and had four assists, three rebounds and two steals in 28 minutes.
Briscoe spent last season in the Estonian League where he led Kalev to the league title, averaging 18.5 points and 4.2 assists per game. He was named MVP of the Estonia/Latvia All-Star Game.
Bam Adebayo had nine points and four rebounds in Miami's 110-84 loss to New Orleans on Saturday. A day after going scoreless in 13 minutes of play, Derek Willis scored five points for the Pelicans, knocking down one of two three-pointers.
Archie Goodwin knocked down all three of his shots and scored six points to go along with four rebounds in Portland's 93-78 win over the Jazz on Sunday, while Alex Poythress contributed six points and three rebounds to Indiana's 86-76 victory over the Spurs. Marquis Teague scored four points and had three assists and two rebounds in Toronto's 90-77 loss to New Orleans on Friday.