Knicks News: Former coach praises Villanova connection, B/R offseason grade

Donte DiVincenzo downplayed the New York Knicks-Villanova connection at Media Day, but it’s a topic that will continue to be brought up throughout the 2023-24 season.

Larry Brown, a Brooklyn native who coached the Knicks in 2005-06, said he’s a “big fan” of New York and that he’s “excited” to see what the team will be able to accomplish. New York Post’s Mike Vaccaro wrote that when Brown lived in Philadelphia a few years ago, he was a frequent visitor on Villanova’s campus.

“The DNA of the Villanova guys is remarkable,” Brown says over the telephone, “and I think when you have four guys who’ve been through all of that with Coach Wright, it bodes very well for the Knicks.”

When Brown isn’t occupied with his role as an assistant coach for the Memphis Tigers this season, you can bet he’ll be tuning into Knicks games.

In other news, Bleacher Report put out its final offseason grades for all 30 teams, and New York received a modest B- grade. The Donte DiVincenzo signing has been underrated by many, but Grant Hughes thinks he’ll give the Knicks a bigger boost than expected.

Take a deeper look, though, and DiVincenzo makes sense here. He shot 39.7 percent from three last season with the Warriors, a better clip than every rotation player but Brunson, and he posted an assist rate in the 89th percentile among wings. Those two qualities will help as the Knicks try to reprise last year’s No. 2 finish in offensive efficiency—a ranking that depended more on offensive rebounds and ball security than generating good looks.

More Knicks news

NBA news

  • On Thursday, Joel Embiid committed to play for Team USA in the 2024 Paris Olympics. In a social media post, Embiid wrote: “But most of all, I want to honor my son who was born in the US.”
  • The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick reported on Thursday that the Clippers “are going to great lengths” (subscription required) to make a James Harden trade happen.
  • LeBron James is officially the oldest player in the league, and his reaction proved that even at 38 years old, he’s still dodging Father Time.