GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Kentucky's Kevin Knox was booed by some New York Knicks fans at the NBA draft after the team selected him with the ninth pick Thursday night. But the negative reaction didn't seem to bother him.
Knox, 18, noted that fans also booed current Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis on draft night in 2015, adding, "And look where he is now."
"That's the same mindset I'm going to have," he said.
Missouri's Michael Porter Jr., Villanova's Mikal Bridges and Michigan State's Miles Bridges were on the board when New York selected, but the team chose Knox, who performed incredibly well in a group workout in front of Knicks coaches and executives earlier this month, sources told ESPN.
Some Knicks fans at Barclays Center, the site of the draft, chanted for Porter Jr. before the Knicks made their pick. Again, Knox was unfazed.
"They can chant Michael Porter all they want," he said. "But they got Kevin Knox, and I'm willing to work and I'm willing to get better."
Knox averaged 15.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for Kentucky last season. He was named co-SEC Freshman of the Year with Alabama's Collin Sexton. Kentucky has had at least one top-10 pick in each of the past nine drafts since John Calipari took over as head coach.
In addition to Knox, members of the Knicks organization had been enamored of Porter in the weeks leading up to the draft, sources said, but team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry were seemingly scared off by injury concerns.
"Michael's a very good player. I wish him nothing but the best," Perry said. "Tonight is about talking about Kevin Knox and why we took Kevin Knox, and we feel very good about the selection we made."
New York has missed the playoffs in each of the past five seasons but hopes that adding Knox to the core of Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina and Tim Hardaway Jr. can help attract free agents in future summers.
The Knicks had been listening to opportunities to move up and down in the draft in the weeks leading up to Thursday night, sources say.
"Ultimately we were comfortable with the pick that he had at No. 9 and got the guy we really targeted and liked at that position," Perry said.