Mikal Bridges’ disciplined rise from high school to the lottery

Chris Iseman talks to Mikal Bridges‘ high school coach, Jim Nolan, in tracking Bridges’ progression from a lanky high school kid vying for playing time to a potential lottery pick.

But before [Mikal Bridges] was a star, he was just a player at Great Valley earning his playing time. Bridges had to buy into Great Valley’s system, which included three priorities: Learn to defend, play hard, share the basketball.

“We’re going to get after you,” said Nolan, who has since stepped down from his head coaching role. “Some of those things can be tough for any kid, including Mikal, to sort of make that adjustment at a younger age. But he stuck with it, he was coachable. And he was talented.”

via Chris Iseman, The Record

How potential Draft pick Mikal Bridges turned himself into elite player

Report: Porzingis had license suspended, bad with Latvian police

According to Latvian news media reports, Porzingis had his driver’s license suspended last year for speeding. [Latvian tennis star Jelena] Ostapenko is well aware of the risks but is fighting daily temptation as she zooms around Riga in her blue Porsche Macan.

“The police are behind meeee,” she shouted, scanning her rearview mirror as she gave two visitors a tour of the capital between appointments. “The police are O.K. with the athletes, but look what happened to Porzingis. He was driving like 200 something, and he was very bad with the police. If you do something bad, you have to say you did it. If they come and you are like, ‘Do you know who I am?,’ they are going to just take everything from you.

via Christopher Clarey, New York Times

Eisley the only remaining (so far) from previous coaching staff

With David Fizdale bringing in his own staff, three Knicks assistants from last season – Jerry Sichting, Corey Gaines and Dave Bliss – won’t return to the team, the Daily News has learned.

Coaching associate Pat Licursi is also gone, sources said.

Howard Eisley, who was an assistant under Jeff Hornacek, could remain on the staff.

via Stefan Bondy and Frank Isola, New York Daily News

Knicks interest in Lonnie Walker confirmed by two sources

Lonnie Walker is a sleeper pick for the Knicks. I’ve talked to somebody around his camp who said the Knicks have been interested in him and reached out.”

via Jonathan Wasserman on The Long Twos podcast with Mike Vorkunov.

A person familiar with the situation confirmed that the Knicks are “very interested” in Walker. The organization will try to bring in the former Miami guard for one of their team workouts as the draft date grows nearer. The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the matter.

via Bryan Kalbrosky, HoopsHype

Jerry West, Almost a Knick?

Jerry West strongly shot down the notion, which was in circulation earlier this season, that the Knicks made a run at hiring him as a front-office consultant before the Clippers did.

“No truth whatsoever,” West said.

But he did surprise me a bit by revealing that he fully expected to land with the Knicks in the 1960 draft. The Lakers had the No. 2 overall pick and selected West before the Knicks were forced to settle for Darrall Imhoff at No. 3.

Referring to the intense fan interest and media scrutiny in New York, West said: “I always thought that would be an interesting place to be.”

via Marc Stein, New York Times

Breathe easy, Knicks fans: Porzingis breaks social media silence in relation to Fizdale hire


New York Daily News obtains video of Oakley-Dolan fracas

James Dolan ordered Charles Oakley’s ugly ejection from Madison Square Garden last year and then gave a “thumbs up” after the fracas, court papers argue, citing new arena footage.

The clip, which was submitted by Dolan’s defense team in connection with Oakley’s Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit, was obtained by the Daily News. As Oakley has claimed and the video confirms, he never got up from his seat before being confronted by security.

via Stefan Bondy and Stephen Rex Brown, New York Daily News

Watch the video at the New York Daily News

Mills, Perry, and director of scouting have eyes on Mikal Bridges at Excel agency’s Pro Day in NYC

Sources: Knicks president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry and director of scouting Kristian Petesic are at the Excel agency’s Pro Day in NYC where Villanova’s Mikal Bridges and other players who have signed with the agency are working out. All NBA teams likely have representation at the Excel Pro Day. But it’s potentially noteworthy that Mills, Perry and Petesic were on hand to watch Bridges and other Excel players because many in the organization see Bridges as a potential option for New York, which has the ninth overall selection in the draft.

via Ian Begley, ESPN