New York Knicks: Star players rave about Immanuel Quickley’s abilities

New York Knicks, Immanuel Quickley
Jan 31, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard Immanuel Quickley (5) brings the ball up court against the LA Clippers during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

When the New York Knicks drafted Obi Toppin with the eighth overall pick, they expected him to be a more influential factor than he has been during the 2021 season. Toppin is averaging just 4.6 points per game over 12.5 minutes, but 25th overall pick Immanuel Quickley has been looking like the stud the Knicks have been waiting for.

Over the past two games, Quickley scored 50 total points, and in the last performance against the Los Angeles Clippers, he was one of the highest-rated players on the floor. He shot 9-of-16 from the field, logging three rebounds and three assists over 27 minutes. He was a focal point for New York, despite the loss.

It wasn’t until after the game, though, that Quickley received several comments that truly humbled him from the clippers coach and one of their star players.

Clippers coach Ty Lue said Quickley, “showed today he’s a special talent.” The compliments didn’t end there, as All-Star guard Paul George stated the Kentucky product is “fearless” with “crazy” floater abilities.

To receive compliments like that from such esteemed men in the NBA should give Quickley a sense of appreciation for what he’s done in just 21 games during his rookie season.

“It’s crazy honestly. Another one of the best players in our game, so for him to say that about me it’s a humbling experience. I appreciate it,” Quickley said. “But I just want to continue to try to keep getting better, try to help this team get more wins. Appreciate that and best of luck to him.”

The New York Knicks are watching Immanuel blossom at a significant rate:

Quickly seems to have the mentality of a great player, staying after hours to heave up shots and improve his game. Some might say he has the Michael Jordan mentality, which harps on practice and being in the right mindset to be great. He’s also trying to adapt his skill set to great players that are currently in the league, watching their habits and taking the best from each.

“I’m intrigued on just watching the best players and what they do, their habits,” Quickley said. “I ask a lot of questions. I’m just a really curious person. So just watching what he does, wasn’t going to really bother him or nothing, ask him questions. But just seeing how he carries himself, what type of pro he is and just really that. I was just intrigued at seeing the best players at our game and what they do.”

The Knicks landed a good one in the Kentucky star, but nobody expected him to be this productive so early in his career. Head coach Tom Thibodeau might not have a choice but to start him relatively soon, despite his Elfrid Payton preference, based solely on his defensive capabilities.