As surprising as Emmanuel Quickley’s strong rookie season was, what followed impressed Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau even more.
The day after the Hawks finished the Knicks’ season, Quickley was at the MSG training center in Tarrytown working on his game. He spent there almost every day during the summer. He requested to play in the NBA Summer League.
Success did not go to the head of the young guard.
“I love that boy,” said Thibodeau. “There’s no one here to spend more time than him. … He just loves the game so much. There really isn’t a lot of other things he does.”
Quickly’s strong rookie season—he averaged 11.4 points and two assists while shooting 38.9 percent from the 3-point range—only inspired him to experience it more. For him, the only way this could happen was to act like a cheater. This continued during training camp, with the 6-foot-3 Quickley regularly coming to the Knicks’ facility to work at night.
“I think that’s a little part of who I am,” he said. “I learned from some people who were ahead of me in high school that you have to work hard to be the best.
“This is the formula that has always worked for me, and I will continue to use it.”
Julius Randall (personal reasons) missed practice on Friday and will not play against the Wizards in Saturday’s preseason game. Asked if it had to do with Randall’s wife Kendra, who is going into labor with their second child, Thibodeau smiled and said, “It’s for a good cause.”
Obie Toppin and Kevin Knox will see an extra minute in place of Randall.
“We have good quality depth, and I want to take a look at some of these guys,” Thibodeau said.
On Friday, the Knicks signed guard Tyler Hall, who played for them in the Summer League and was part of the G-League team for the past two seasons. The 24-year-old Hall has averaged 9.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and two assists, while shooting 41.1 percent from 3-point range in 53 G-League games. A spot opened up last weekend after Luca Villadoza was pardoned by the Knicks.