November 18, 2020
Bristol, Connecticut, USA
Q. What's it like to be reunited with Kenny Payne with the Knicks?
IMMANUEL QUICKLEY: Man, it's unbelievable just because, you know, he was one of those coaches that I felt like really pushed me on and off the floor. Coach, I call him K.P., he's one of those guys that's going to hold you accountable, make sure you almost try to quit at practice, so the games become easy. It's really great to reunite with him for me on and off the floor.
Q. I just was wondering how you see yourself fitting into this Knicks team. They obviously have young point guards, Dennis Smith, Frank Ntilikina. What kind of conversations did you have with the Knicks so far about how you fit in?
IMMANUEL QUICKLEY: I think first it starts off as a person. You know, they're trying to build an organization where I guess the character side is just as good as the player side.
As far as my play, I feel like I fit in great. I can play on or off the ball. I feel like I bring shooting immediately. That's something that I worked on, and just being able to be a great teammate as well. Trying to learn from older guys, the vets. Just come in and be that open-minded person that's willing to learn, willing to get better each and every day.
Q. Coach Calipari was talking earlier about the path that you took, not being a starter the first couple games, splitting time. Tell us what that did for you in your two years at Kentucky, the path you took.
IMMANUEL QUICKLEY: It gives me an advantage as far as not having immediate success. I think that's a culture shock or an experience shock for some people. They've had success all their life. When they get to college, it's easy, and they get to the NBA, and it's hard a little bit. They're not able to deal with adversity.
I feel like for me I was able to do that and get through that in Kentucky, so I feel like I can accomplish anything that comes my way.
Q. How do you think your game will translate immediately to the NBA level, and do you see yourself as an on-the-ball guard or an off-the-ball guard in the league?
IMMANUEL QUICKLEY: First of all, defensively, I feel like I'm somebody who can guard ones and twos. I feel like at Kentucky I became one of the better defenders. I was guarding point guards, wings, threes, sometimes even fours, if the four is like a perimeter player. So defensively, I feel like I'm really versatile.
Then offensively, I feel like I was originally a point guard, then at Kentucky I kind of changed my game to where I could do both. I feel like a lot of people forgot I was a point guard all my life, I was an McDonald's All-American and things like that. I feel like I could do either one really well. And shooting, obviously, is one of my strengths, and I feel like I'll be able to do that well in the league.
Q. How do you see yourself -- first off, was New York really a place you wanted to go to? It seemed like a place where you really got happy when you heard that name, Knicks?
IMMANUEL QUICKLEY: Definitely. Everybody was celebrating, not only for myself, I was happy to be a Knick, my family was happy. It was close to home for me. And obviously the connection with the guys in New York, Coach Kenny Payne, all those guys. I'm just really grateful for this opportunity. Ready to get started and also just ready to get to work.
Q. What part of your game do you feel you have to work on before the NBA season starts?
IMMANUEL QUICKLEY: I feel like you can never be a complete player, so really just working on all facets of my game. Really just getting stronger is going to be a big one, finishing around the rim. Guys are way more athletic, and everybody's athletic in the NBA. So I think those two things will definitely be a big adjustment for me.
Q. Two questions: One, Coach Cal, very demanding coach, as is Coach Thibs. Will that translate? The other is the Knicks have such a proud history, although not recently. Can you talk about being part of a process which would restore the Knicks to prominence? Thank you.
IMMANUEL QUICKLEY: Yeah, on Coach Thibs, you know, I'm just really grateful because even on the interview, every interview that I was on, the head coach wasn't there. So for him to be on the call, I felt like he believed in me. From what I've heard, he's watched a lot of film on me. I'm just really happy to be going to an organization where they believe in me. They've seen me play. They understand who I am.
Then to the point of being in the Knicks culture and trying to develop that culture, I feel like it's kind of what I said earlier, you want to be a great player. You also want to be a great person. So just bring both facets of that and try to elevate the culture on and off the floor is going to be big for me.
Q. Congratulations. You mentioned about your hometown briefly, but being that next guy up from the DMV area, what does that mean to you, man?
IMMANUEL QUICKLEY: It was really cool. Guys like Markelle Fultz. I know I'm going to miss some of them, but you could go on and on about DMV players. Just to be another one is really cool. Obviously, my journey is just getting started. I haven't done anything yet. I just got drafted.
But continue to stay hungry, continue to stay humble, and continue to just work is something I'm going to try and do as much as possible.
Q. You mentioned that Tom Thibodeau was on your Zoom call when you talked to the Knicks and you obviously know Kenny well. Do you feel like you have a familiarity right away with the club and that could help you as you transition to the league?
IMMANUEL QUICKLEY: Absolutely. You know, going anywhere, you know, you're just happy to be there. But going somewhere like the Knicks where I know Coach Kenny Payne, I was with him every single day. Worked out with him every single day, watched film with him, things like that. So going somewhere I know and I'm familiar with the coaches, the GM, and things like that, I feel it's definitely an advantage going to a team like that.
Q. How big is the motivation for you to play with the Knicks and fight for playoff position maybe? And also, what are your goals about next season? Maybe Rookie of the Year trophy is in the back of your mind?
IMMANUEL QUICKLEY: Yeah. For me, just coming in and being the best player I can be. If that's winning Rookie of the Year, I feel like just coming in, trying to help the team win, that's the biggest thing, playoffs, all that. So really just, like I said earlier, come in with an open mindset, try to learn, try to understand the ins and outs, getting a routine, and just trying to pick brain from the vets and things like that to just try to be the best player I can be.
Q. Follow-up question to that earlier, talking about Coach Cal. What was the biggest piece of advice he was able to offer you that prepared you for this next step?
IMMANUEL QUICKLEY: For me, it was more just stay true to who I am, which is keeping God first. My grind, I feel like he said I was one of the hardest working players he's ever had. Then also, just being a great person off the floor. Those three things have really propelled me and gave me confidence on and off the floor.
So really just I feel like that's how I was able to lead and be a leader on last year's team, just putting the work in, and my teammates and coaches believed in me. So those three things.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports