Young NBA players have not realized yet what playing in the league truly means. Things have gone fast, and for some of them, it has not sunk in how they are now earning serious money and following from fans. For New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley, fame is something he needs to get accustomed to quickly.
How fame changed Quickley’s life
Playing for the New York Knicks has its ups and downs, but one of the upsides is the great fan support, no matter if the team is losing or winning. The Madison Square Garden is called a basketball mecca for a reason. New Yorkers are sports fans; if the Knicks are playing poorly, they will hear it from the crowd. New Yorkers are also appreciative of other teams or players if they are playing well. The extra attention and support still surprise Quickley today.
As someone who dreamt of playing for the Knicks, it still feels surreal for the sophomore guard. Dreaming of the old life sometimes comes to his mind, but everything has changed now that he is in the NBA playing for New York. His mother, Nitrease, had to remind her son that he was no longer the old Immanuel.
“He doesn’t know he’s famous. He has no clue. He thinks he’s a little kid from Havre de Grace, [Maryland].”
Sacrificing riding the train, like he used to do before the NBA, is part of the deal. The 6’3” guard became a fan favorite in his rookie after averaging 11.4 points. His fine play and demeanor did not escape Knicks diehard fans such as Spike Lee. Of course, the list of supporting celebrity fans will only continue to grow if Immanuel remains committed to his craft.
The Knicks are having a revival this year
Immanuel Quickley’s hustle on the floor earned the respect of fans. He has contributed to the revival of Knicks that had been out of the playoff picture in years. Last season, in Immanuel’s rookie year, New York made the postseason.
The continued progress of Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, and the steady presence of veterans Derrick Rose and newcomer Kemba Walker will give more hype to the playoff dreams of the Knicks.
The team needs Quickley to progress even more, this year. He encountered a not-so-good experience with a fan during last year’s game against the Atlanta Hawks in the playoffs. Beer was thrown at him by an unidentified fan, per Sideline Sources. He did not retaliate nor create a scene, a sign of maturity rare for players his age.
Things are finally looking for the franchise, and it’s up to young players such as Immanuel to quickly grab the opportunity presented to them.