Immanuel Quickley Q&A: Knicks' NBA draft pick on what he's working on, Kenny Payne and more

Ian Begley
·3 min read
Kentucky's Immanuel Quickley drives to the basket
Kentucky's Immanuel Quickley drives to the basket

The Knicks landed Immanuel Quickley on Wednesday night during the 2020 NBA Draft, but before that, SNY's Ian Begley did a Q&A with the Kentucky guard who had multiple conversations with the Knicks during the pre-draft process.

Below, Quickley discusses that process, his talks with the Knicks, his experience playing for Kenny Payne and more:

SNY: What have you worked on since the season ended?

QUICKLEY: Everything. I’m in the gym training every day. This is another level I’m about to enter into and I’m focusing on getting stronger, faster, my handles -- you name it. I’ve been working.

SNY: What is something that fans or teams who haven’t seen you since your last game at Kentucky wouldn’t recognize about your game if they saw you play today?

QUICKLEY: Honestly, everything the fans have seen me do on the court for Kentucky is still there. I’m just becoming the 2.0 version of that. My shooting is better, my defense is stronger. I am getting better every day.

SNY: How do you think playing at Kentucky prepared you for the NBA?

QUICKLEY: The program at Kentucky prepares every player that wants to play in the NBA for that next level. The coaches over there have built an amazing program and their coaching style is focused around getting guys to this level and that is why I wanted to go to Kentucky to begin with.

SNY: What do you think about the possibility of playing for Tom Thibodeau and the Knicks?

QUICKLEY: As an East Coast kid I would love to be close to family. Without a doubt playing in The Garden would be amazing. But I am going to be happy to play anywhere.

SNY: Have you spoken with the Knicks or Nets?

QUICKLEY: Yes, I’ve spoken with both teams a few times. I enjoyed each conversation. The teams are very different but I can see unique aspects of my game fitting in well with each. And living in New York would be dope.

SNY: How was your experience playing for Kenny Payne at Kentucky?

QUICKLEY: It was an amazing experience, and I learned a lot. I wouldn’t be here this week and having these conversations without coach Payne.

SNY: What do you think he can bring to the NBA and to the Knicks? How do you think he can help players at this level?

QUICKLEY: Coach Payne would be an asset to any team. He has the ability to build players up and bring the best out of them. Excited to see the ways he will do that at the NBA level for sure.

SNY: What do you think you can bring immediately to the team that drafts you?

QUICKLEY: Oh I’m determined! My determination and drive is what I am bringing to any team that will have me, and my versatility as a player. I’m ready to learn and ready to contribute right away.

SNY: What do you think about having to play in preseason so soon after the draft and starting the season roughly a month after draft night?

QUICKLEY: Like I said, I’m ready to go. I’ve been ready to play for a while. Past few months have been a lot of training, but I’m ready to get back to that five on five. I miss it.