Following a promising 2020-2021 NBA season that ended in a first round playoff exit but left tons of optimism for the future, the New York Knicks have added pieces in this year’s free agency that they believe will take the team to new places.
For New York in particular, there’s certainly no one better to introduce these free agent signees, Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier, to the city, other than Bronx native and rap veteran Fat Joe. And for Kemba, who signed a lucrative deal with the Boston Celtics in 2019 before being traded to and bought out by the Oklahoma City Thunder, his signing with the Knicks is merely destiny manifested as a fellow Bronx native.
“If it’s up then it’s up!!! @nyknicks @_kw15 @evanfournier10,” Fat Joe remarked in his Instagram caption of a post that included the three at their introductory press conference.
Fat Joe is no stranger to flaunting his Knicks fandom in public. He is often seen courtside at Madison Square Garden home games and has done multiple spots on ESPN‘s sports talk shows discussing the team’s performances and personnel moves. He also appeared in a pre-taped sketch with SHOWTIME hosts Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, documenting their live reaction to the Knicks’ draft lottery position for the 2019 NBA Draft, in which New York fans were hoping to land then-Duke star forward Zion Williamson.
Check out the video below.
Both former members of the Boston Celtics, Walker and Fournier provide an ample veteran presence to a younger Knicks team, whose core players are headlined by the likes of Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and others. Fournier averaged 17.1 points for the Celtics last season, while an injury-riddled season restricted Walker to 43 games played, yet he still averaged 19.3 points. Walker was a heavily-sought-after target by the Knicks in 2019 when he was an unrestricted free agent, and many believed he was the solution to their persistent point guard woes with the potential draw of a homecoming for the Bronx native, but he opted to chase potential title hopes with the Celtics. Though knee injuries cut his chances short for the Celtics, he joins the Knicks with lessened expectations for being a meaningful contributor, as fellow veteran point guard Derrick Rose re-signed with the team during this year’s free agency period.
What do you think of the Knicks’ free agency moves? Are you excited to see them hit the court at Madison Square Garden this season? Let us know in the comments.