Yesterday afternoon, Iman Shumpert was one of the Knicks that spoke to the media as the Knicks cleaned out their lockers for the season.
According to Howard Beck of the New York Times, he had this to say about how the season turned out.
“I think we failed. We know we were supposed to go farther, and we didn’t. I’d say that’s a failure.”
While other players were emphasizing the positives that the Knicks had this season, Shumpert wanted nothing to do with it.
When discussing things that needed to improve next season and what happened in the Indiana series, Shumpert again did not hold back.
“We got to hold each other accountable, and come next year, little things like not playing hard should never come into play. Letting a game slip at home should never come into play. Getting beat on the boards, when we know that’s a point of emphasis in the series, shouldn’t happen. We got to take care of the little things, and we didn’t. It finally caught up with us.”
Shumpert really made a name for himself this post season. He showed that he has healed from the ACL injury he suffered a year ago and can be another option as a jump shooter.
His defense on Paul Pierce was huge in the first round win over the Celtics and his overall play as a wing defender is at the top in the NBA.
The one thing that I do like seeing from Shumpert along what we saw on the court is the strong voice he is showing off the court.
In a room full of veterans, All-Stars and a Superstar like Carmelo Anthony, it can be tough for a young player to have any real say.
But Shumpert, both after the game on Saturday and on Monday made it very clear that the Knicks should not feel satisfied about how the season ended.
In the post game on Saturday, I emphasized the positives that the Knicks accomplished this season. As fans, we have not seen them accomplish as much as they had this year in well over a decade.
The players though have not been here that long and look at things in the short term. For Shumpert, it was all about making the Eastern Conference Finals and playing the Heat with a shot at making the NBA Finals.
I like the fact that he has come out and said that he is not satisfied. He made it clear that the fans should not be satisfied and that himself and his teammates need to improve next year to take that next step.
Shumpert is refusing to settle and is making it clear that he is not only apart of the future for this team on the court but wants to be a voice off of it.
Young players in the NBA sometimes take a back seat by default because it shows respect. Rajon Rondo did not follow that model in Boston and ruffled some feathers along the way. When it came down to prove if he was worth it, he did, time and time again.
Shumpert proved in this post season that he can be a valuable piece for this franchise going forward either as a shooting guard or small forward.
Now he is starting to become a voice for this team and not just the guy with the funny haircut that got hurt.
This summer may bring a lot of change to the Knicks as we head into next season. One thing that is already changing for the good is Shumpert establishing himself as a force for this franchise both on and off the court.