Knicks rookie Obi Toppin says preseason games were 'rubber bullets,' excited for real NBA debut

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Scott Thompson
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Obi Toppin drives to the basket
Obi Toppin drives to the basket

While playing at Dayton, one of Obi Toppin's coaches had a good analogy for how NBA preseason games compare to the real thing when rookies officially make their NBA debut. 

"My coach at Dayton used to put in terms like preseason games are rubber bullets. When you get into the real games that count, those are real bullets," he told reporters on Tuesday.

A day away from doing just that, Toppin knows that the Indiana Pacers court he's going to step out on during Opening Night is going to be entirely different than starting on a college court. But he's ready.

"We’re jumping into the fire and this is a quick turnaround. This isn’t what everybody’s used to, but like I always say, this opportunity for me to be in this position is a blessing. So I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m super excited.”

Toppin has performed well in the Knicks' preseason contests with his 6-foot-9 athletic frame making plays, and his motor when on the court is certainly there as well. You may also have noticed his passing skills being somewhat of a surprise.

"I just feel like the time that I was at Dayton I had so much attention on me that if I got doubled or tripled in the post, I had no choice but to pass it," he explained. "We worked on it in practice and in workouts that I was doing at Dayton, and I’m also working on it here. I feel comfortable finding the open man."

Toppin is going to do whatever he can to impact this young Knicks team this season, and he said he's already gone over film with head coach Tom Thibodeau, assistant Kenny Payne and others what about he's doing right and wrong.

Like any rookie, Toppin just wants to start off his season on the right foot. But the start of this season is unlike any other given Toppin's family -- or Immanuel Quickley's for that matter -- won't be in Indianapolis to witness their son playing on Opening Night.

Toppin, though, isn't stressing it. He's just going to drink in the moment, knowing that Wednesday night is everything he's dreamed about since he was a kid.

“I don’t think I’m missing out on anything," he said. "Like I said, I’m in a position that people pray to be in – that I pray to be in – and I’m here. I couldn’t change this for the world.”

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Indiana
-121-1.5O 219.5
Charlotte
+100+1.5U 219.5