Brandon Knight plans on being an All-Star
From The Detroit News…
This might sound a bit selfish, but Brandon Knight wants to be an All-Star.
His reasons, however, aren’t selfish.
Knight figures that if he is an All-Star, it likely means the Pistons have turned things around.
“I am not going to sit here and say I don’t want to be an All-Star,” said Knight, a rookie. “My goals are to be as good as I can possibly be. If that is All-Star status, then I will take it.
“But mostly for me it is making sure that this team is competing for a playoff spot and eventually a championship run.”
For now, however, talk of being an All-Star and the playoffs must wait.
The Pistons have one game remaining in this lockout-shortened season — against the 76ers on Thursday at The Palace. A victory would be No. 25. A loss would be No. 42.
Either way, the Pistons will finish 10th in the East — 10 or more games out of a playoff spot.
But once Friday rolls around, Knight will begin the process of improving. And, he’ll begin to grow.
Knight has a regimented workout plan during the offseason.
He wants to work on his footwork and positioning to play better defense.
He wants to develop more of a point guard mentality.
But most of all, Knight wants to become a leader.
“It is a matter of earning your stripes and earning respect from other guys and doing what is best for the team,” Knight said. “That is something that is earned over time and I definitely will embrace it and be more vocal.
“You’ve got to approach it the right way. As long as they know it is coming from the right place and as long as they know it is best for the team and you guys have good relationships. You have to be bold and be able to do it out of respect being basketball players rather than one guy being above the other.”
It will, however, take time for Knight to live up to the standard set by great Pistons points guards Isiah Thomas and Chauncey Billups.
“It’s a little bit tougher for him because the guys you mentioned had a little bit more veteran experience around them,” Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince said. “Brandon is coming in on a young team and doesn’t really have a veteran at his position to help him.”
But once Knight gets there, his numbers are sure to follow.
This season, Knight is averaging 12.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists. He hit the “rookie” wall at midseason, but recovered to finish strongly, averaging 14 points his final 10 games.
“We know (he) can score,” Prince said. “We know what (he is) capable of with the ball in (his) hands. What is important is to get guys going at the start of the game so everybody can have a nice rhythm because a point guard can always shoot when you want. You can always attack when you want because you know 90 percent of the time the ball is going to be in your hands to make decisions.”
I have no doubt in my mind that Brandon Knight will end up becoming an All-Star one day. He has the work ethic of Kobe Bryant, the intelligence of Derrik Fisher, and the skills and talent to match. It’s not a matter of if he will become an All-Star, it’s a matter of when.