Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight hasn’t played in an NBA game since Feb. 2017, but that isn’t holding him back from being a leader for his young Suns’ teammates.
In an interview with NBA.com, Knight highlighted what he’s been doing during his free time as he’s been recovering from an ACL injury that caused him to miss all of last season and it has a lot more to do with his work off the court than on it.
Only 26 years old, Knight is a veteran on this young Phoenix squad in the midst of pulling themselves out from the tanking trenches. Since he hasn’t been able to contribute on the court, he’s taken it upon himself to contribute as much as possible off of it.
“When you can’t play, you can’t affect the game on the court,” Knight said. “I just found other ways to try to help my teammates be better. Whether that be telling tidbits I saw that I observed. I just tried to be a veteran presence on our team and lead through that.”
Knight hasn’t played an NBA game in a year and a half, but before his injuries, he was playing the best basketball of his young career. In the 2015-16 season, Knight averaged a career-high 19.6 points per game for the Suns as the lead guard. Heading into the 2018-19 season, Knight is just eager to get back on the court.
“I’ve been excited since December, when I started running. I’m looking forward to it. I’m very excited about it,” Knight said.
Knight will likely team up with former Kentucky guard Devin Booker to form the starting backcourt for the Suns alongside number one overall pick DeAndre Ayton and a bevy of other young talents the Suns have collected over the past few seasons.
“I already know how I can help and how I can play with them. I know their strengths and weaknesses just from watching them all season,” Knight said. “Hopefully it will be quick building chemistry with them once I get back in, once I get back playing.”
Knight is entering the fourth year of the five-year extension he signed back in 2015 with plenty left to prove. The Suns are dry at the point guard position and Knight will immediately be the one the Suns look to run the show. Playoff hopes are slim, but this season is all about development for the young core and Knight’s newfound role as the “veteran” mentor can be a huge benefit for the players that surround him.