When people talk about how the Knicks could be better this year, they’ll point to three primary factors — the addition of veterans Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee, new coach Jeff Hornacek, and the continued maturation of Kristaps Porzingis. Reserve center Kyle O’Quinn being one year older and in better shape doesn’t move the needle too much, but he is a part of the team, and an important one for reasons that go beyond the court.
O’Quinn had 15 minutes of fame as the star of the Norfolk State team that upset second-seeded Missouri back in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, and he put in good, if limited minutes for the Knicks last year. But from this Basketball Insiders interview, we got a glimpse of the most meaningful contribution he made all of last year — a legendary prank on fellow backup big Kevin Seraphin, with the help of Carmelo Anthony.
“Kevin Seraphin is obsessed with social media, so I unfollowed him on all of his accounts during last season,” O’Quinn with a laugh. “I just didn’t say anything and left him unfollowed for a few days. He was so confused. He really cares about that stuff, so he came to practice and was really concerned. It messed with his head. Carmelo played along and told him, ‘If a teammate unfollows you, he’s lost all trust in you. You need to fix this.’ Other teammates went along with it too. Kevin was confused for a few days and then at a team dinner in, I think, Utah, I gave a big speech in front of everyone. I talked about how mistakes were made, but I was willing to give Kevin a second chance and put my trust in him again and rebuild our bond. He was smiling like a kid in a candy shop. Then, everybody just busted up laughing. Jose Calderon was cracking up, sounding like a little kid. That’s when Kevin realized that I was messing with him the whole time and he started laughing too.
“That was my favorite semi-prank this past year,” he said with a smile. “I haven’t done anything too crazy to teammates in New York. Yet.”
Kevin Seraphin is a walking reminder to never care too much about social media, and Kyle O’Quinn is a delight.
(Via Basketball Insiders)