Noah Vonleh made his return to the Moda Center Monday night, starting for the Knicks in their 111-101 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. Mike Richman for NBC Sports NW caught up with Vonleh to talk about his growth in NY:
“I was getting some quality minutes when I was here (in Portland), starting a lot of games my first couple years,” said Vonleh, who signed with New York in offseason after spending the second half of last season with Chicago. “So just building that foundation and then free agency was a little tough. Getting that opportunity to go to New York with Coach Fiz and a bunch of young guys here I thought it’d be something special. And I just kept growing as a player.”
While Vonleh was a project player for the Blazers, he is averaging a career-high 8.7 points and 8.9 rebounds for the Knicks. Richman spoke to Knicks coach David Fizdale about his growth:
“His evolution,” Knicks coach David Fizdale said when asked what he appreciates most about the 23-year-old Vonleh prior to the game. “His openness to growing and being coached. His work ethic has been fantastic.”
Damian Lillard and Terry Stotts had kind words as well:
“It means a lot to me honestly,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “I’d like to think that we gave him a good base. I thought the work that our assistant coaches did with (him) in the time that he was here helped give a foundation for some success down the road.”
“I’ve been watching a lot of their games because I think he’s in a situation where he finally has the freedom to show what he can do,” added Blazers guard Damian Lillard. “And sometimes that opportunity is what guys need. So being with him so many years, you want to see that for him. I’m happy for him, really happy for him.”
To read the full article, click here.