Evan Fournier will have key basketball games this summer following that 2021-22 Knicks disaster when he represents Team France in EuroBasket 2022, a FIBA European Championship event.
Knicks fans had hoped Fournier would be the missing piece that would propel them to important games this spring and a better performance than last season’s 4-1 first-round win.
In a stunning turn of events, the Knicks fell massively, despite Fournier setting the franchise record for most 3-pointers in a season.
Fournier gave more succinct answers to the Knicks’ downfall than coach Tom Thibodeau. The Knicks head coach asked that the 37-45 failure be discussed until he “digs deep into it” over the next two weeks. Fournier accused it of not having found an “identity”.
“I don’t think we found each other as a team,” said Fournier on Sunday evening after the season finale. “We never really found a rhythm and something that we could go to every night to win games and close games. We blew a lot of leads this year. I think that’s the most important thing. You have to find yourself as a team, your identity, what you do well, what you don’t do well and what you can leave behind. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t find ways to win more games.”
That sounds like Fournier is putting a bit of the burden on Thibodeau, whose job it is to figure out the best unit in the clutch. Thibodeau was often reluctant to play Fournier in the fourth quarter. Thibodeau has praised his team defense but has been less impressed with him as a one-on-one defender.
If Thibodeau and Knicks realize that Fournier isn’t a perfect fit either way and wants to be younger, the final three years of his four-year, $78 million deal could see movement despite his 241 scoring 3-pointers topping John Stark’s mark of 217. Fournier turns 30 on October 29.
“I hope to stay,” said Fournier, who shot 38.9 percent from 3 and averaged 14 points. “But I honestly hope to have the same team and just be able to win. I said we have the right parts and we have everything to be successful and I believe that. We must find ourselves. So when you go through a whole season with guys and coaches, you’re attached to them and you want to be successful with them. You’re going through difficult moments, so I don’t hope anything changes, to be honest.”
When Fournier signed with the Knicks last August – during his run to the gold medal game at the Tokyo Olympics – he spoke of the big market and rabid fans being attractive. And those areas didn’t let him down. Playing in Orlando, Fournier was used to New York fans storming his home arena.
“It’s an amazing experience,” Fournier said of playing in New York. “It’s even better than I expected. The disappointment of the season, it’s extremely frustrating. Living in New York was the only thing that (made) me sane in any way. Sometimes when you’re playing in a smaller market, all you have to think about and do is just basketball.
“Sometimes you can get extremely frustrated and it gets toxic at home because I’m frustrated, so it has an impact on my family, my wife. Being here was the only thing that made me healthy and happy to go to work every day. It’s just a special city with such a different energy. With this team, you know the town will go crazy over you. So that’s a huge motivation for next season.”
Fournier reports to the French training camp on July 29 with EuroBasket starting in September. By then, he’ll know if he’ll have a second season as the Knicks’ shooting guard.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/12/evan-fournier-wants-to-run-it-back-with-same-knicks-roster/ Evan Fournier wants to bring it back with the same Knicks squad