Immanuel Quickley was a Second Team All-Rookie performer in his first season in the NBA, only six votes shy of being named to the All-Rookie First Team from the No. 25 slot in last year’s draft. The former Wildcat is a proven contributor only one year into his professional career, but his bosses still sent him out to Las Vegas for the summer league so he could try his hand at point guard ahead of Year 2.
Quickley made his summer league debut on Sunday to negative reviews from the New York media despite his eight assists and 15 points (he went 2-for-11 on 3-pointers) in the loss to the Toronto Raptors. One example, the New York Post wrote a story titled, “Knicks’ Immanuel Quickley point guard experiment doesn’t go well.”
“Quick at the point is something we want to look at,’’ Knicks summer league coach Dice Yoshimoto said in the story. “It’s a point of emphasis it’s something he’s got to get better at. That’s where we’re at.’’
Quickley took the criticism and got better less than 24 hours later when he and the Knicks played Isaiah Jackson’s Indiana Pacers in the first Monday afternoon game in Vegas. Quickley lit up the scoreboard for a career-high 32 points and another eight assists with only one turnover as the Knicks won, 94-86.
The game’s MVP, Quickley said afterward, “Last game I was kind of trying to find my way, get everybody involved, but this game I wanted to do both but be a little more aggressive, help my teammates, be more of a leader and I’m just glad we got this win.”
32 for IQ ?
— NBA (@NBA) August 9, 2021
Quick is cookin! pic.twitter.com/a839NyoqFg
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) August 9, 2021
As for the other former Wildcats in the game, Pacers rookie Isaiah Jackson played only seven minutes with no points, no rebounds, two blocks and two turnovers, while Reid Travis played 10 minutes for the Knicks and grabbed one rebound with three fouls. Travis and Quickley were teammates at Kentucky in the 2018-19 season.
The Knicks are back in action Wednesday against the Lakers.