The Knicks sign DaQuan Jeffries to a training camp contract. 

Meet Rudy Gobert’s worst nightmare

By Russell Richardson

On Wednesday, Shams Charania of the Athletic reported that the New York Knicks are signing DaQuan Jeffries to a training camp deal.

Mark your calendar: Training camp opens September 27.

Since joining the league in 2019, the undrafted Jeffries has played with the Sacramento Kings (21 games), the Houston Rockets (13 games), and the Memphis Grizzlies (three games). Over 47 NBA contests, the 6’5”, 230 lb. forward averaged 3.8 points and 1.9 rebounds. He’s also had brief stints with the San Antonio Spurs and the Atlanta Hawks.

Although slow of foot and not super athletic, the 25-year old has been praised for his shooting form, his 6’11.25” wingspan, huge hands, and brick-house physique. He should provide great competition in training camp scrimmages and could earn a spot on the G-League roster. 

DaQuan also did this to Rudy Gobert:

Before joining the NBA, Jeffries spent one season at Oral Roberts and two at Tulsa. He steadily improved over his collegiate career. In his senior year as a Tulsa Golden Hurricane, he averaged 13 points, 5.6 boards, and 1.2 blocks in 28.1 minutes, started 31 games, and shot 37% from deep on four attempts per contest.

That season, Jeffries won the State Farm College Slam Dunk Contest at the Final Four and was selected for the Third-team All-American Athletic Conference in 2018-2019. New York loves dunkers!

In 2021-22, he played 16 games with the College Park Skyhawks of the G League. He averaged 14.3 points on 48% shooting from the floor and produced this 35-point explosion against the Wisconsin Herd.

The Oklahoman is represented by Erik Kabe and Bill Duffy of BDA Sports Management / WME Sports, not CAA (in case you were speculating). Welcome to the Knicks, Daquan! Enjoy the lobs.

2022 FIBA EuroBasket Update: France and Lithuania advance to the next round.

Evan and Rokas fight on in the 41st edition of the international classic.

By Russell Richardson

After the FIBA World Cup and the Olympics, FIBA EuroBasket is the top international basketball event, and at this year’s EuroBasket, two representatives of the New York Knicks are battling in the Group of Death.

Knicks fans are keeping an eye on Group B, which includes France, with New York’s shooting guard Evan Fournier, and Lithuania, with draft-and-stash prize Rokas Jokubaitis. Both teams have qualified for the round of 16 in their quest for Euro gold.

As of this writing, Lithuania stands at 2-3, with victories against Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and losses to Slovenia, France, and Germany.

France has fared better with a 3-2 record. After a surprising tournament-opening loss to Germany, Les Bleus proceeded to defeat Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Lithuania. 

 Against Lithuania, Fournier sizzled with 27 points in 27 minutes for France. His most important shot of the night was a three-pointer that broke a 64-64 tie and ignited a 7-0 run down the stretch that sealed the victory. 

“I thought I was a little bit more involved offensively tonight and that helped me find my groove, find my rhythm,” Fournier said.

The match was also noteworthy because it was the second of a back-to-back, which rankled the Knicks’ swingman, the Pride of Saint-Maurice. Fournier had made news by publicly petitioning FIBA to stop scheduling these back-to-back games in the tournament.

“It’s the EuroBasket and we have back-to-backs. Back-to-backs are very hard. And back-to-backs in the NBA and back-to-back in the EuroBasket is two different things,” Fournier told Eurohoops. 

A captain of the French National team, the 29-year-old Fournier argued that players need time between games to recover and the current schedule sometimes leaves them with less than 24 hours to do so. “Every game is more important. From the very first minute until the last one you play very hard. Physically, it’s a big challenge. We are about to have our second back-to-back. So four games in five nights? It’s tough.”

Despite the tough slate, Evan is conducting himself admirably at the Euro. After a lackluster opening against Germany, he has increased his averages to 15 points and three assists in 29 minutes per game.

In the France v. Lithuania contest, Evan’s fellow Knickerbocker but Euro adversary, Rokas Jokubaitis, scored 14 points on 6-for-13 shooting in 28 minutes.

The Knicks acquired the 21-year-old Jokubaitis in the 2021 NBA Draft. This year, he won the prestigious EuroLeague Rising Star Award and played well in a reserve role for FC Barcelona, the 2022 Copa del Rey champions.

In 30 games for Barca, the 6’4”, 194 lb Rokas averaged 7.8 points and three assists in 17.8 minutes. The lefty (yes, another one!) hit 57% of his threes on 1.2 attempts per game.

After his encouraging performance with Barcelona, in a competitive ACB Liga, many Knicks fans were eager to see how the young guard would perform against NBA competition. We may need to temper our expectations and practice patience with this prospect, however.

Jokubaitis appears to be struggling somewhat at the Euro tourney. He has averaged 8.4 points and 3.8 assists in 25.5 minutes per game and connected on only 31% from downtown (4-of-13). He has gone 8-for-10 from the charity stripe, at least.

On the Lithuanian squad, Rokas is competing alongside such NBA players as Jonas Valanciunas (New Orleans Pelicans) and Domantas Sabonis (Sacramento Kings). 

We’ll have to wait at least another year before we’ll see the play-making Lithuanian at Madison Square Garden. In May, Marc Berman reported in the New York Post: “Despite his progress, The Post has learned the Knicks are heavily leaning toward letting him stay in Spain for next season. That would give the 21-year-old Lithuanian another year to polish his game and get stronger.”

Knicks fans, try to catch Rokas in action on your TVs while you can. On Saturday, Lithuania will play Spain and France faces Turkey. Good luck in the rest of the tourney, fellas.

The Five Stages of Expectation

By Russell Richardson 

In the tradition of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, I have found that an expectation has five stages. Field research over a combined 18 years of matrimony has supported my hypothesis. That spans two marriages, for those keeping score.

The five stages of an expectation are as follows.

One: Somebody—e.g., your wife—wants a task done. In a domestic setting, that might be washing dishes, folding laundry, or scraping and painting the entire exterior of your house. As in any combat scenario, never underestimate your adversary’s imagination.

Two: She wants you to do the chore. Men and women may be equals in contemporary America, but when a job involves power tools or acquiring a hernia, the male usually gets the assignment. Yay us. What’s more, an especially creative foe can devise approximately 800,000 ways to torture you. Anticipate the worst when you want to watch sports.

Three: The expectation is unspoken because your wife knows that ordering you around is an unflattering look. Other times, she is, in fact, testing you. Considering that the woman has seen you leave the house in slippers while wearing your shirt inside-out, one wonders why she gives your squirrel-sized brain so much credit. That brings us to…

Four: She wants you to read her mind. Not all the time, of course, because who wants to hang out in that nightmare thicket? Yikes. But when an expectation is afoot, she assumes that you are as telepathic as The Amazing Kreskin. (Google him, youngsters.) And yet, you’re not a wizard, Harry. Thus, inevitably….

Five: She’s disappointed because you failed to meet her expectations, which she should have expected. A fight may ensue. You’ll lose. Take heart, you will have plenty more chances to screw up over the remainder of the marriage. Sadly, there are no points awarded for consistency.

One day your wife will realize that you are not clairvoyant. She will flag the moment with a long, surrendering sigh, followed by visits to the websites of divorce attorneys. After that, my friend, you can expect the worst.

Don’t Leave a Message

By Russell Richardson

Like everyone, I have certain, completely rational fears. Death. Spiders. Voicemail.

When I receive a voicemail, I feel the polite response is to pretend it does not exist.

To call you back would be awkward. My phone is practically an appendage. We both know I avoided your call. What makes you think I’m dying to return it?

These days, anyone who leaves a voicemail is a relative over the age of 50. Nobody else calls. Even bill collectors text: “Yo, it’s T-Mobile. We goin take ur $$$ on the 15th. Aiiight?”

Even in emergencies, modern people text. Once a friend sent me, “My house is on fire!” To which I replied, “Text 9-1-1! Get with the times!”

How long is too long to go without calling back? And what’s an acceptable excuse for not responding? Could I get away with, “Hey! Just came out of my coma. Did Obama win?”

What’s worse is that my answering message is a total lie. It says, “I’m sorry I missed your call. Leave a message, and I’ll call you back pronto!” But an honest recording would say, “Hey, saw your call. Didn’t feel like answering. No hard feelings. I’ll see you around.”

Listen, I do want people to call me. Sometimes it’s a nice feeling to have someone want to spend time on the phone with me. But, if I don’t answer, despite what my answering message says, you don’t need to leave a message.