BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Kevin Knox said it had no bearing on his slower sophomore campaign, but he revealed Monday a knee injury kept him off the court for between one and two months late last summer.
“I got a lot of work in the beginning of the summer,” Knox said. “It was a little knee injury. The injury stopped me from working out for a month or two, but it didn’t have anything to do with the summer.”
Knox was back for most of the pickup games the Knicks played in September before training camp. His slowdown is more due to less minutes and a reserve role.
His decline reached another low when he was benched for the whole second half at Staples Center on Sunday. Knicks interim coach Mike Miller said it was more a function of Marcus Morris having a big day. Swingman Reggie Bullock, who debuted Jan. 1, is also now stealing minutes.
“The rotations got a little tight — nothing crazy,” Knox said. “I was happy on the bench supporting my team, cheering them on.”
Knox said he remains upbeat.
“The people in my circle say stay locked in and don’t get too down,” Knox said. “I got a lot of work to do. I’m not going to sulk and cry on the bench or go on Twitter and Instagram crying about it.”
For a change, LeBron James laid off the Knicks’ front office. James was asked late Sunday night following the Lakers’ 106-99 victory over the Pistons his reaction to David Fizdale’s firing.
James, who takes on the Knicks on Tuesday night at the Staples Center, has lauded Fizdale in the past for their time together in Miami when Fizdale was an assistant coach. But considering the venom coming from elite coaches about the firing, James’ response was tame by comparison, and he said he hasn’t spoken to the former Knicks coach yet.
“I haven’t had too much of a reaction,” James told reporters. “The conversation was talked about for quite a while. I knew Coach Fiz is a great coach, great communicator — just trying to motivate his players. I wish him the best. That’s all that matters.”
PG Elfrid Payton still was in Louisiana with his new baby girl and missed Monday’s practice. The Knicks remain hopeful he’ll return in time to play Tuesday. … Dennis Smith Jr. will miss his fifth straight game with a strained oblique. … The Lakers recorded 20 blocks in Sunday’s win — the most in an NBA game since 2001.
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