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Why Kevin Knox’s Las Vegas breakout didn’t surprise his dad.

Kevin Knox planned to attend the ESPYs in Los Angeles on Wednesday, but a star was born in Las Vegas last week. And it didn’t surprise his father, Kevin Knox Sr., a former NFL wide receiver whose quarterback at Florida State was ex-Knick Charlie Ward. The 18-year-old Knox, the Knicks’ lottery pick out of Kentucky,...
Time: 01:44     Date: 19.07.2018
Last US Sport News: Why Kevin Knox’s Las Vegas breakout didn’t surprise his dad. NY Post 24 - US News

And it didn’t surprise his father, Kevin Knox Sr., a former NFL wide receiver whose quarterback at Florida State was ex-Knick Charlie Ward.

The 18-year-old Knox, the Knicks’ lottery pick out of Kentucky, was named first team All-Summer League when the event concluded Tuesday and delivered promising signs he will become the franchise’s next All-Star.

“It’s all part of the process,’’ Knox Sr. told The Post, using the word several times. “Every human being matures differently. Every rose doesn’t bloom at the same time. Every caterpillar doesn’t cocoon into a butterfly at the same time. Kevin Knox night have cocooned a little earlier.’’

At least that is what a trove of scouts/general managers predicted after watching Knox emerge with a 21.3 scoring average in four games — driving to the basket, drawing fouls, dunking theatrically in the open court and draining 3s.

“The biggest surprise was the ability to create with the ball in his hands and get his own shot,’’ Knox Sr. said. “He didn’t get the opportunity to see that in Kentucky as much. He was more astute with the ball, making decisions. He created off the dribble and got his shot off like Kevin Durant whom he patterns his game after.’’

Knox Sr. said he believes his son is still growing, forecasting he will reach between 6-foot-10 and 6-11 — around Durant’s height. Knox wears a size-18 sneaker (Durant’s sneaker size is 16).

Knox said he was stationed more in the corner under coach John Calipari, whereas David Fizdale’s offense in Vegas had him running plays from up top, akin to a point-forward role. Knox’s father hardly blamed the Kentucky coach for not getting the most out of his son.

“The ballhandling is something we worked on,’’ Knox Sr. said. “He’s always been a shooter, so he had good form. I saw him make more shots in the pick-and-roll. The NBA game is different than college, more spacing, allows you to do different things.

“I don’t think at Kentucky he was quite ready to be at the top the whole time, but Cal continued to work with him in the process and got Kevin ready for the NBA. When he got to Kentucky, he wasn’t ready to be the iso guy. I was happy with his development [with the Wildcats] but happy to pass the baton to Coach Fizdale and continue that process.’’

“That’s where we wanted to be — in New York, we wanted to be a New York Knick, with Steve Mills, all the way to Scott Perry and Fizdale,’’ Knox Sr. said. “Being in the mecca of basketball, the focal point of the United States and the world. I just wore my heart on my sleeve. We got what we wanted. It feels too good to be true.’’

Knox Sr. and Ward have kept in contact across the years and the former Knicks point guard has offered the son advice. Ward also remains close with Knicks executive Allan Houston, whose No. 20 is now worn by Knox. Houston played golf in Las Vegas with Knox Sr.

Ward assured Knox Sr. that Houston will look after his son, the second-youngest player drafted.

As Knox showed his alpha side in Vegas after a mixed freshman year at Kentucky, Knicks fans couldn’t stop envisioning a forward pairing with Kristaps Porzingis, who has texted with Knox from Europe since the draft and watched his Vegas highlights.

“Obviously on paper, man, what an exciting thing to think about,’’ Knox Sr. said. “The lineups you can use, they become dream-ish. It’s a matter of getting on the court and learning how to play the NBA game. They’re not the best of friends yet but there’s communication and that’s really good. I hope one day my son can be in position to give back to the game and help a rookie. That’s called support. For Porzingis to give back and be a mentor to Kev, that’s awesome.’’

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Business

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