Interesting article in the Detroit News about Brandon Knight’s personality’s positive influence in the Pistons locker room and on Rodney Stuckey in particular.
Knight seems to have lit something inside Stuckey — in a positive way. He readily admits Knight has had an effect on him.
“It’s a different atmosphere than in the past couple years, everything’s positive, everyone’s just trying to get better,” Stuckey said after Saturday’s practice.
The article continues
here’s a more positive spirit, an infectiousness Knight has carried with him since arriving here. Knight is enthusiastic while not being braggadocios or disrespectful. It can’t help but permeate the rest of the team.
Perhaps Knight showed Stuckey how to be a consummate professional, simply with his work ethic.
“He’s a phenomenal player, he’s only going to get better,” Stuckey said. “We’re gonna have a lot of years together. The kid can shoot the ball. We’re only going to get better with each other.”
When Stuckey hit what turned out to be the back-breaking 3-pointer against the Kings — off a pass from Knight — he ran downcourt, halfway bent down and pulled out three fingers, all smiles.
“He’s a lot happier, and I think everybody can see it,” one teammate said about Stuckey.
Stuckey speaks of Knight in a big-brother type of way, one that’s surprising considering Stuckey has seemingly shied away from being a leader.
“He’s a great kid, he comes in with an attitude to learn and get better,” Stuckey said. “He’s positive, and there’s nothing really negative about him. Having that kind of energy around you really helps you and picks you up.”
Several around the team have remarked about Knight’s positive influence on Stuckey, and Pistons coach Lawrence Frank has recently talked about Stuckey’s “spirit.”
“He’s just so engaged in the game and you can feel it,” Frank said. “Not to be corny, but it’s got to be one heartbeat for the team. When you struggle, everyone’s into what’s plaguing them.
“Rodney’s really giving himself to the team. Whether it’s on the bench, at halftime, he’s engaged.
“When I talk about ‘spirit,’ that’s what I mean. You’re so focused on the team and what needs to be done to help the team win, it’s a powerful effect.”
So much of basketball is more than strengths and weaknesses, something much more important that what stat geeks can quantify with numbers and theorems. It’s visible but not tangible.
The human aspect, where one player can inspire another, which can motivate everyone in a locker room, is so underrated, and yet so rare to find.
Impressive remarks being made about a 20 year old rookie point guard especially one is struggling as much as Knight is on the court (who clearly is not ready for the minutes he has been handed).
I find this very encouraging about Knight’s future in the league and especially as a leader.