New York Knicks guard Evan Fournier set a franchise record for most 3-pointers last season with 241, and this season he went from starter to a reserve to falling out of the rotation.
Through 13 games this season, the 11-year veteran is averaging 6.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. Prior to his benching, he was also shooting 34.4% from the field and 33.3% from beyond the arc.
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The Knicks went with a nine-man rotation vs. Jazz, leaving Evan Fournier and Grimes on the bench. pic.twitter.com/1DH745JQQy
— Knicks Nation (@KnicksNationCP) November 17, 2022
“How hard is it? It’s not easy. I’ll tell you that,” Fournier said after coach Tom Thibodeau benched him in the Knicks’ 106-103 win over the Jazz on Tuesday night.
While healthy, it was the first time the 30-year-old missed a game with the Knicks. For the NBA veteran, attitude is everything. Despite falling out of the rotation, Fournier will continue to practice for each individual game.
Knicks guard Evan Fournier will continue to practice for a spot in the rotation this season
Of the 13 appearances this season, the guard made starts in seven contests. Since Fournier was averaging a career-low 6.9 points per game, Thibodeau thought it was for the team’s best interest.
For more in-depth statistics, the Knicks guard recorded career-worst numbers consisting of a usage percentage of 17.3% and a true shooting percentage of 47.4%.
Last season, in 80 starts, Fournier averaged 14.1 points, 2.6 boards, and 2.1 assists. In addition to logging double-digit points per game, he shot 41.7% from the floor and 38.9% from downtown.
Through three quarters, Knicks have gone with a nine-man rotation tonight vs Utah. Evan Fournier hasn’t played yet. Quentin Grimes, who played 8 minutes in each of the previous two games, hasn’t played yet. https://t.co/R5Xg9tGdRM
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 16, 2022
Even the guard’s 55.4% TSP was better compared to this season.
Despite this unfortunate news, his desire to continue playing the sport is still alive. “I mean, I’ve got to keep that mindset [this can change] for sure,” added the Knicks guard.
“If I’m thinking about staying on the bench for the rest of the season it’s going to be awful. Mindset is always the same. Do your work every day and live [with] the result.”
This rotation change is likely temporary. After all, Evan Fournier signed a four-year, $73 million contract with the Knicks last August. He’s now earning $18 million this season to ride the bench.