The wait was the hardest part for Miles McBride, but it’s not like he’s never done it before.
The Knicks sophomore guard said he missed his entire junior hoops season at Moeller High School in Cincinnati after suffering a foot injury while playing quarterback for the football team. He then did not play football during his senior season after committing to play college basketball in West Virginia.
The 2021 second-round pick has played sparingly as a rookie and again to start this season. But McBride replaced Derrick Rose in the Knicks’ rotation earlier this week, and he helped Tom Thibodeau’s team to three straight wins heading into Sunday’s home game against Sacramento.
“I understood to go out [of college] it would be hard to play behind last year it was Kemba [Walker], D-Rose, Alec Burks. This year it’s D-Rose again, and now Jalen [Brunson]McBride, 22, said after scoring a season-high 10 points with two steals in 24 minutes in Friday’s win at Charlotte. “So I just knew it was time to work on my game and my opportunity would come.”
When asked how he prepared for that patience as a young NBA player, McBride recounted his two-sport days in high school.
“I would say, when I got injured in my first year of football,” McBride said. “We had a very good [basketball] crew. We got Jaxson Hayes [who is] with the Pelicans and a lot of other D-1 guys. I must have missed this whole basketball season. I understand that you have to be patient and things will happen for a reason and just to keep working on my mind and body.
McBride and recent starter Quentin Grimes have made a noticeable impact in increased roles, especially on the perimeter at the defensive end. The Knicks limited the Cavaliers, Hawks and Hornets to 20.6 percent 3-point shooting during their three-game winning streak, and Thibodeau said the two young guards had “a lot” to do with it.
“They read the ball well. They take airspace. They play physically flawlessly, very disciplined, a talent for that,” said Thibodeau. “Long. They know how to defy shots. And some [the Hornets] lack. But many of them were well challenged.
Even with forward Obi Toppin (fractured fibula) out of the lineup, Thibodeau kept Rose and Cam Reddish on the bench for the third straight game. He played Jericho Sims (two points in 12 minutes) alongside backup center Isaiah Hartenstein on the second unit.
New York Post