Knicks’ Myles Powell using Spurs veteran as career inspiration
Seton Hall great Myles Powell is a long shot to make the Knicks roster and probably will spend the year in a shortened G-League bubble season in Atlanta, representing Westchester.
The undersized guard from Trenton is still calling being in camp “a dream come true.’’ And he’s set his sights on emulating Spurs veteran guard Patty Mills, the Australian who played at St. Mary’s and beat long odds to make it to his 10th NBA season.
“I watched a lot of Patty Mills lately,’’ Powell said on a Zoom call Tuesday after the third day of practice. “Everything from him coming from college to him making a living in the NBA with the Spurs, I’ve been watching a lot of him, how he plays on the defensive end, how he moves without the ball, how he sees the floor and gets to the spots on the floor when he wants to shoot. So I’ve been watching him and trying to pick from his game.”
Despite averaging 17.5 points in his four-year Seton Hall career and being known as an all-around sniper, Powell wasn’t one of the NBA’s 60 draft picks. College seniors are often considered outmoded on draft night.
“My family helped me keep my head,’’ Powell said. “I turned the page real quickly. This is my story. I’ve always kind of been the underdog. I needed that. They say sometimes in life when you get things handed to you, you take it for granted. I’m blessed to be in this situation. A kid coming from Trenton, I shouldn’t be here anyway. I know there’s a lot of kids in Jersey and family looking up to me, I just want to keep being that role model people keep looking up to.”
Defending the point will be his biggest challenge on this level because he’s only 6-foot-2.
“I’m a competitor,’’ Powell said. “I lay it all out on the line. If you watch me play, you know I’m playing for something. I play with a different type of passion. I’m a shooter. I feel every team needs a shooter on the floor to space the floor out. And just working on defense. Me being 6-2, I’m going tot have to guard the 1 spot. The NBA is filled with a lot of good guards. Going against Dennis [Smith Jr.] every day, guarding EP [Elfrid Payton], I feel that’s helped me.”
Even if he doesn’t play an NBA game this season, nothing will beat this opportunity, potentially suiting up in the upcoming preseason games.
“As a young kid growing up, you always dream about playing in the NBA,’’ Powell said. “There’s nothing like playing so close from your hometown.
Tom Thibodeau still is reserving judgment on rookie Obi Toppin, knowing the lack of summer league is a factor in his readiness.
“Particularly this year’s class, it’s going to be a challenge,’’ Thibodeau said when asked about Toppin. “No summer league, no fall practices. Now they’re in training camp and they’re going against NBA quality players and they have to learn a lot. But I love his attitude.’’
Combo guard Austin Rivers still isn’t practicing fully and is not expected to play Friday in Detroit in the first preseason game