There is a certain level of maturity exuded in the personality of Brandon Knight. It’s a maturity that a third-year player at age 21 doesn’t often have. He isn’t concerned with highlight plays in his favor or against him. He is about getting better and just playing the game hard.
While most NBA players don’t look to Milwaukee as their destination of choice, he is embracing the trade that sent him there as an opportunity to grow both individually and with the new young core on the Bucks. Knight shared that and much more in an interview with Dime this summer.
*** *** ***
Dime: So the big talk obviously is the trade you were a part of. Many times trades are rumored and take days, weeks or months to complete. This just kind of happened all in one day. Tell me how you found out.
Brandon Knight: My brother called me and he let me know. Then my agent called me and then the team finally called me. And it just kind of trickled down like that.
Dime: Where were you when you actually got the news?
BK: I was just in the gym working out.
Dime: Give me your thoughts on your new team and coach in Milwaukee. What’s that situation looking like for you?
BK: It’s looking good, I’m very excited. A lot of new faces and players on our team. I think we have a lot of talent and we have a chance to be very good.
Dime: Anybody specifically you are looking forward to playing with on the Bucks?
BK: A couple players. O.J. (Mayo), I am looking forward to playing with him. Looking forward to playing with Larry Sanders and John Henson with their length and ability to block shots and protect the rim. I am looking forward to playing with pretty much everybody.
Dime: The combination of you and Mayo should be a good look for the Bucks next season. You guys are coming in kind of replacing their previous duo of Jennings and Ellis. What do you think you guys are going to be able to accomplish as a new up-and-coming backcourt?
BK: I think we have the ability, both of us, to defend our positions very well. I also think we can shoot the basketball very well. So I think those are two pluses that we have. O.J. is a pretty big guard and I think I’m a pretty big guard for my position. We’ll be a good backcourt as far as size, defense and the ability to shoot the basketball.
Dime: With the upcoming season are there any rookies you are excited to play against?
BK: Any rookies? Not really. I don’t know too many rookies that I’m looking forward to playing against. But you just have to show them the ropes and introduce them to the league. So that’s going to be my role…introduce them to the league and let them know how it is.
Dime: Do you have a relationship with the other Kentucky guys in the league?
BK: I’m cool with basically everybody I went to school with.
Dime: Now that Detroit is part of your past, what is your fondest memory as a Piston?
BK: That’s a tough question. I would probably say the relationship I built with the players, staff and some of the assistant coaches. That’s probably what I take away from Detroit, that’s the most important part of what I had there.
Dime: So is there anything that you wish were a little bit different? Obviously getting traded was tough but is there anything you wish went another way?
BK: Nah! No not at all. Everything happens for a reason. Detroit made their decision and I’m happy with it. I think it benefited me so I’m completely fine with it. It’s kind of a blessing, I am thankful that they did it. They put me in a situation that’s better for me individually and a place where I can continue to blossom. So I kind of thank Detroit for doing it.
Dime: Last season you were a part of one of the highlight plays of the year with that DeAndre Jordan dunk. Were you surprised by the way it kind of took off with social media and how people reacted?
BK: Surprised? Not really. In today’s society with people and how you mentioned social media I wasn’t really surprised. It just is what it is.
Dime: Did you catch flak from your friends and family too or do they just leave you alone about it knowing how competitive you are?
BK: I mean we joke about it here and there, especially when it first happened. But now… you know it happened. It’s in the wind and its part of basketball. One play, two plays, three plays or four plays aren’t going to affect my career. We laugh about it and we move on.
Dime: I understand and I think that’s a great attitude to have. Speaking of dunking you have some pretty good hops yourself. Can you tell me about your most memorable poster dunk where you may have put someone on their back?
BK: It’s a little bit tough for me when I dunk on a big guy to put them on their back. But, I caught Pau (Gasol) this past season and I kind of caught KG (Kevin Garnett) slipping one time. You know like I said, it’s just part of basketball. It happens. But I’m not going to sit here and make a big deal about it and brag “This is who I dunked on.” It’s basketball man.
Dime: One of the more surprising things about your game, something you alluded to earlier, is how well you shoot the ball. But you’re also a good finisher in traffic. What do you think is your best ability offensively on the court?
BK: It’s tough…I think that’s the good thing about scorers. I might say shooting because it comes easier for me but I think I can score in a variety of ways. That’s what makes me unpredictable offensively. So I can’t really choose one, but I think shooting is probably one of my better attributes as far as scoring and it’s something that most players can’t say that they have.
Dime: Going back to your time in Detroit. You kind of bounced around between the point guard and shooting guard positions, especially last year after the Pistons acquired Jose Calderon. Where are you most comfortable?
BK: Well my first year I played just the one and in the first half of last year I played just the one. (After the trade) That was my first time playing the two since…since…like never. I never played the two! I always had the ball in my hands. So I had to adjust to that situation. I know I am going to be playing the point here in Milwaukee and that’s what I’m comfortable with. I’m not comfortable being off the ball because I’ve never been off the ball in my life. That’s not my position.
Dime: Well I’m glad they got you back at the one and in your right frame of mind. How have you improved your game this summer? What can the folks of Milwaukee look forward to next year?
BK: Physicality and strength. I have gotten stronger working on my body and stuff like that. Also continued progression offensively and I think I have gotten a lot better defensively this summer. So I’m looking forward to showing those things.
Dime: Were you working out by yourself or with some other players or notable trainers?
BK: I’ve been mostly working out by myself but I have a couple guys at home that I grew up with that I do a lot of things with. So mainly just working out with those guys.
Dime: What do you do when you’re not playing ball to blow off some steam?
BK: Normally I just go to the movies or I might go bowling. Definitely going to eat is hobby.
Dime: Oh are you a big foodie?
BK: I wouldn’t say I’m a big food guy but I’m always eating.
Dime: You mentioned bowling…what’s your bowling average?
BK: It’s normally around a 140-150 and if I’m hitting about 180.
Dime: It’s odd thing. A lot of the guys in the league are avid bowlers. Andrew Bynum and Chris Paul come to mind. Is that something that’s kind of in the underground circuit of the NBA right now?
BK: I don’t know, I guess it’s something that basketball players find exciting. It’s something to compete in and something to see yourself getting better at. I don’t know, it just seems to be something basketball players pick up a lot. You know you got to find something to do in your spare time.
Dime: What’s rocking on your iPod right now?
BK: Ah man lots of stuff. Future, J. Cole, Wale. All that new stuff from the summer.
Dime: Are you heavy into video games?
BK: I would say yeah but there are only a couple games that I play and I just play those. Like Call of Duty. I play 2K but not heavy. I might pop it in to see what it looks like then I turn it off.
Dime: So you’re sticking to C.O.D. and that’s it. Is that on PlayStation or Xbox?
BK: Xbox is what I play. I am actually waiting on that Xbox One.
Dime: So no love for PlayStation. But are you nice on Call of Duty? Willing to give out your gamer tag to challenge your fans or nah?
BK: Nah not yet. Can’t have too many people blowing up my friend requests.
Will Milwaukee make the playoffs next year?
Follow Warren on Twitter at @ShawSports.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.