You ask, we answer. The Post is fielding questions from readers about New York’s biggest pro sports teams and getting our beat writers to answer them in a series of regularly published mailbags. In today’s installment: the Knicks.
Why do so many NBA players hate the Knicks? They all celebrated when we fell to the eighth draft pick? — Corey
Indeed, the Twitter reaction was bizarre. D’Aaron Fox, Enes Kanter and Spencer Dinwiddie got in their tweaks at another disappointing Knicks’ lottery in which the cursed franchise fell from sixth to eighth last week.
The real surprise was Fox, who represented Sacramento on the Zoom lottery dais and saw his unlucky franchise stand pat at 12. For a franchise that passed on Luka Doncic for Marvin Bagley, Fox should be in no position to taunt Knicks fans with a laughing emoji and: “Yo I know they sick #8. Aye ya’ll so hurt. So so so hurt.” Fox explained he was tired of Knicks fans predicting a top-three finish.
Kanter, of the Celtics, issued a string of laughing-crying emojis. The former Knicks center still is bitter David Fizdale benched him after the season’s fifth game for raw rookie Mitchell Robinson in 2018-19 when the franchise was publicly tanking.
Dinwiddie, the eccentric Nets point guard, tweeted: “8 was my number so I’ll cap my analysis there lol.’’
Dinwiddie has long been a social media thorn in the Knicks’ side. It’s good for the rivalry, but he’s most likely jealous the Knicks gain a ton more media attention for being lackluster while the Nets have made the playoffs two of the past three years. Dinwiddie is not wrong.
Can [Tom Thibodeau] and [Leon] Rose trust Facundo Campazzo to drive the Knicks offense, like Mark Cuban did with Luka Doncic in Dallas? — John
The slick-passing Argentine point guard is rumored to be on Minnesota’s radar with fellow countryman Pablo Prigioni on its staff. Campazzo is a former Real Madrid point guard and teammate of Doncic. He’s ready to test the NBA waters as a free agent in either late October/November. The Knicks have scouted Campazzo, need point-guard help and like his game. Whether they will be a serious bidder for the 29-year-old is unclear, but his is a name to keep in mind, pending draft results.
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Is the comparison between [Isaac] Okoro and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist realistic? — Alwyn Lerone Foy
If the Knicks pick Okoro at 8, let’s hope the Auburn defensive forward makes more of a winning contribution than MKG ever did. After being bought out by Charlotte earlier this season, he hooked up with Dallas and has given the Mavericks an occasional defensive boost off the bench in his 34 minutes in the first four games versus the Clippers. Kidd-Gilchrist is a versatile perimeter defender but his jump shot has never improved his entire eight-year career. Okoro is a gym rat destined to improve from deep. ESPN’s Seth Greenberg even sees shades of Jaylen Brown, maybe Marcus Smart. Others have talked about Toronto’s wing defender OG Onunoby as a comparison and, on the low end, Justin Anderson.
Does Thibodeau have the support of the New York media? Or does the media believe that no matter what the Knicks do, nothing successful will ever happen? — Leroy W.
Thibodeau has talked about his feel for the New York market — fans and media. Thibodeau still knows a handful of us from his Knicks stint as an assistant (1996-2004). Thibs has always been congenial and jokey with the big, bad NYC media — much different than the way he’s portrayed dealing with Minnesota players and Twin Cities journalists. In fact, Thibodeau was viewed as so cozy with some New York scribes, it could have contributed to him never interviewing with James Dolan’s media-averse Knicks until this spring. Count on Thibs getting a honeymoon period.
Why haven’t [the Knicks hired] Mark Jackson in some capacity, even if it’s [as a] G League coach to utilize his knowledge and sharpen his coaching skills? — Sydney Bessellieu
A solid idea for Jackson to consider if he goes without a job interview this summer. The Nets should have him on their radar, considering Kevin Durant is a fan via his manager Rich Kleiman. The surprise with Jackson is after getting bounced in Golden State in 2014, he went back to the broadcasting booth, deciding against being an assistant. Doing a year of penance as a G-League head coach — perhaps with Westchester — wouldn’t be the worst route since he’s been off the coaching sidelines for six years. How many more times can Jackson bellow: “Mama, there goes that man!’’?