Blazers’ Cam Reddish: Knicks Tenure Was Complicated By ‘Favoritism’ and ‘Politics’

Blazers’ Cam Reddish: Knicks Tenure Was Complicated By ‘Favoritism’ and ‘Politics’
Mike Chiari@@mikechiariTwitter LogoFeatured Columnist IVMarch 11, 2023

DETROIT, MI - MARCH 6: Cam Reddish #5 of the Portland Trail Blazers dribbles the ball during the game against the Detroit Pistons on March 6, 2023 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers forward Cam Reddish had less-than-glowing things to say about his time with the New York Knicks during an interview Saturday.

Speaking to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Reddish expressed his belief that he was a victim of favoritism during his 35-game stint in New York. “It was tough but at the same time, it ain’t even about basketball,” he said. “It had nothing to do with basketball. It was all the politics, all the favoritism. S–t like that. That’s why I wasn’t too worried about it.”

Reddish also suggested that a lack of opportunities put a ton of pressure on him to perform when called upon, which isn’t something he has had to concern himself with in Portland:

“I can shoot a shot—and in New York, I feel like I HAD to make it. I know I’m not the only person that felt like that. I was putting too much pressure on myself. Now I can relax and play my game. You’re going to see it. The more I’m on the court, the more I’m going to grow and play. I’m happy.”

The Knicks acquired Reddish from the Atlanta Hawks last season for Kevin Knox and a first-round pick, but it was clear from the start that he wasn’t a preferred option for head coach Tom Thibodeau, which resulted in him averaging just 14.3 minutes in 15 games for New York in 2021-22.

There was some hope he would find his footing with the Knicks this season, but things didn’t go much better. Reddish started eight of the 20 games he appeared in and averaged just 8.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 21.9 minutes per contest.

When asked if issues with Thibodeau led to him falling out of favor in New York, Reddish said: “I never really talk to Thibs like that. I don’t know. And I don’t really care. I’m here [in Portland] now. I’m trying to put that in the past. Those were lower times in my career so it’s whatever.”

Since getting dealt to the Blazers as part of a four-team trade last month, Reddish is playing the best basketball of his career.

Reddish has started 10 of his 12 games in Portland and is averaging 13.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.2 three-pointers made and 1.4 steals in 30.8 minutes per game.

Over a full season, most of those numbers would represent career highs for the former Duke standout and No. 10 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft.

Reddish is only 23 years of age, meaning he still has plenty of time to reach his potential, and he seems to be getting there in Portland.

He and the Blazers still have a shot to make the playoffs, as they are 1.5 games out of the final postseason play-in spot. Meanwhile, the Knicks are fifth in the Eastern Conference at 39-29 and have a three-game lead over the first play-in team.

Reddish’s first opportunity to play against his old team will come Tuesday night when the Trail Blazers host the Knicks.

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