From The Other Side: Catching Up With Kevin Seraphin | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

From The Other Side: Catching Up With Kevin Seraphin

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Updated: March 23, 2016

https://twitter.com/kevin_seraphin/status/711378643759591424

When Kevin Seraphin surveyed the free agent market last summer, his priority was finding a destination that would offer consistent minutes. Seraphin felt he did not have an opportunity to prove his worth in Washington, so, according to Seraphin, he turned down a four-year offer from an unnamed team in favor of a one-year deal with New York and a chance to showcase his talents.

One year later Seraphin, finds himself in a similar situation with another free agency on the horizon—struggling to get minutes in a crowded frontcourt rotation. Seraphin is only playing 10.6 minutes per game, five fewer than in his final season in Washington, and was not a part of former coach Derek Fisher’s rotation. Kevin hoped for an increased role once Kurt Rambis took over coaching duties on February 9, but that has not materialized.

Before the Knicks played the Wizards last weekend, Rambis said that Seraphin is still learning the ways of the vaunted Triangle offense:

“He needs more time out there on the court. He needs to be able to be out there to enrich his basketball knowledge. But he certainly has all the physical skills to do a lot of things out there and that’s what we are encouraging him to do to grow as a player and learn a lot of different aspects.”

One particular skill that Rambis would like Seraphin to learn caught me by surprise:

“[Seraphin] has obviously played a lot at the center position and we’re looking to increase his knowledge so he can get out on the wing in our offense, so that requires him to learn a different skill set and I think he has the athleticism to do that.”

For those who watched Seraphin play his first five years in Washington, trying to mold him into a perimeter player does not sound like a winning proposition. Seraphin excels as a scorer in the low post(1), not so much as a facilitator on the wing. Reading between the lines of Rambis’ coach-speak, the transition is going about as well as one would expect.

I caught up with Seraphin before last Saturday’s game to get his take on his first season in New York and the interview began in the most #KSLife of ways. The Knicks sideline reporter was conducting a sit down TV interview with Jerian Grant a few feet to my right and Seraphin needed to pass by the camera crew in order to reach me. Instead of walking a few feet around the crew, Seraphin treated the camera as a limbo stick and crawled on the floor to avoid detection before popping up next to me with a smile, saying, “Slides into your DM….”

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“My agent and I were looking for one year, maximum two, to see what’s going on because I didn’t feel like I had the chance to show everyone what I am capable of doing.” —Seraphin on signing with New York.


Seraphin said that he and Rambis had a long two-hour meeting a couple days before the Knicks travelled to Washington to discuss Kevin’s role on the team. Seraphin acknowledged that he needs to make adjustments.

When pressed on which specific aspects of the Triangle offense have proven most difficult to master, Seraphin chose “all of the above.”

“Everything is different,” Seraphin said. “Playing the Triangle is different. It’s a different system. It’s different from all the systems that you have seen before. It’s different, period. There are so many examples. It’s just different.”

I asked whether Seraphin’s time in Washington—where he often had extended stays in Randy Wittman’s doghouse—helped him deal with his DNPs in New York. Kevin tried to explain life under Wittman in terms I could understand:

“You are a journalist and the guy (your boss) lets you do interviews for two weeks and then the next two weeks he tells you you are not allowed to talk to anybody. That’s the same thing. You cannot do your work. That’s really frustrating and you kind of go crazy. Now with the experience, I deal with it better. I know how it is in the league. I’m just trying to stay positive and be ready.”

Seraphin is taking a glass half-full approach to his current situation: “Everything happens for a reason at the end of the day. It’s just about finding a good fit in the right spot. Sometimes for a player it takes three or four teams and some guys it takes one team. It just depends. I will see what’s going on this summer.”

Just like last summer, Seraphin will be looking for an opportunity for minutes: “At the end of the day I am in the league for a reason. I have a purpose. I am not just here to take money and stuff. I am trying to do something, I’m trying to play and prove that I can play.”

In the meantime, he will enjoy his time in New York:

“There’s a lot going on in New York. It’s moving a lot. The question is, ‘Who does not like New York?’ That’s a great question. It’s one of the best cities in the world.”

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  1. He’s blessed with one of the better hook shots in the league
Adam Rubin on EmailAdam Rubin on Twitter
Adam Rubin
Reporter / Writer at TAI
Adam grew up in the D.C. area and has been a Washington Bullets fan for over 25 years. He will not refer to the franchise as anything other than the Bullets unless required to do so by Truth About It editorial standards. Adam spent many nights at the Capital Centre in the ‘90s where he witnessed such things as Michael Jordan’s “LaBradford Smith game,” the inexcusable under-usage of Gheorghe Muresan’s unstoppable post moves, and the basketball stylings of Ledell Eackles.