Richardson on playing for the Knicks: “You have to have thick skin to be able to deal with that.”

During All-Star weekend, Giannis said he would love to play with his brothers on the same team, whether it would be in Milwaukee, LA, or somewhere else. Everyone jumped on this statement as a sign that Giannis is considering moving to a big market team once his contract is up. Until he signs an extension with the Bucks, the big market teams will loom over Giannis on a daily basis. But, playing in a big market may not be as appealing as it seems.

The basic premise is simple: LA, Miami, or New York have a lot more to offer once practice is done than Milwaukee or Indiana. From business opportunities to lifestyle options, small market teams are at a disadvantage. But, there’s another side to that coin. With big markets come demanding fanbases, and that’s something not everyone can handle. While the Knicks primarily have themselves to blame for the state their franchise is in, Quentin Richardson thinks the fan doesn’t help either. 

Richardson played 241 games for the Knicks from 2005 to 2009; he understands what it means to be a Knicks, and the treatment NY media and fans put their players through. As the songs say, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. If you win as a Knick, there’s nothing like it – the problem is, the same goes for loosing as a Knick.

Richardson talked about the new generation of player prioritizing an easy-going lifestyle, not being able to handle criticism. They can make a lot of money playing in the NBA, but what’s the point if you’re too anxious to go out and spend it.

“I’ve seen teammates and different people not want to go out to eat, not want to enjoy the city or enjoy your down time because they’re worried about fans talking smack or looking at ’em crazed and all that. You have to have thick skin to be able to deal with that. For me, I was from Chicago, so it never really mattered to me what anybody said. I legit witnessed seeing how it goes. If you’re not built for it, you’re not built for it.”

Quentin Richardson, CBS Sports Radio

Richardson also talked about NY media being known amongst players as harsh and unforgiving, something players also consider when picking their destination.

All that being said, the pressure players feel from media and fans doesn’t crack the top 10 reasons why the Knicks are one of the worst teams in the league for quite some time now. A fish rots from the head down, and until leadership doesn’t learn from its past mistakes, nothing else will matter.