Be Consistent and Compete: A Conversation with Knicks Two-Way Player Kadeem Allen

By ahawleyalexander | January 30, 2019

On January 14, 2019, the New York Knicks announced the signing of guard Kadeem Allen to a Two-Way contract. On January 28, New York transferred Allen from the Westchester Knicks, the team’s official NBA G League affiliate, in time for Monday’s 7 PM (ET) away contest against the Charlotte Hornets.

“Am I anxious? Yes, I’m very anxious to be back out there,” said Allen when asked about getting back with New York. “I’m ready to get out there and compete. I know I belong, and I know what I bring to the table.”

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Allen, 6’3, 200, appeared in two preseason games with New York before being waived on October 13, 2018.

“I really want to get out there and play defense,” Allen continued. “I want to push others around me.”

Allen has been put in positions to elevate his teammates having served as the starting point guard for the Westchester Knicks and being a floor general for his former G League team, the Maine Red Claws.

Prior to signing his Two-Way deal, Allen was averaging 13.7 points per game on 46.8-percent shooting with Westchester and at the time of the signing was leading the team in assists with 5.7 per game. He was a 37.8-percent perimeter shooter while also pacing the Knicks with 1.6 steals per game.

Allen continued, “I want to be that consistent and efficient point guard and stay aggressive. I always want to play defense, get more guys involved and keep my assists up.”

At around the time of his transfer, Allen was ranked sixth in the G League amongst Two-Way Players with 6.2 assists per game. Also named to the 2018 NBA G League All-Defensive Team a season ago, Allen was slotted ninth in that cohort with 1.6 steals per game this year.

“I watch a lot of New York Knicks games and keep up with the team.  I want to be ready and be in the position to have an impact by doing the little things when my name is called.”

On January 28, Allen started the second quarter for New York vs Charlotte. A relentless player, his first statistic was an offensive rebound. In less than a minute, Allen shifted his way into the paint netting a finger-roll to record his first basket with the New York Knicks.

Allen would go on to log a little over 18 minutes in his Knicks Call-Up debut with a line that included eight points, on 4-for-8 shooting, five rebounds, two on the offense and three assists without a turnover.

“Kadeem Allen was fantastic,” said New York head coach David Fizdale. “Flying in here, landing today and jumping right into an NBA ballgame, coming from the G League… he’s really good with the basketball and getting in the paint and making people better, he also finishes well at the rim.”

There’s a level of comfort already established between Allen and New York.

“I felt comfortable signing a Two-Way Contract with New York, said Allen in mid-January. “I had been in their training camp and I am now familiar with their plays, coaching staff and front office.”

Before being transferred, Allen appeared in all but one Westchester game this season. The Knicks have not won a game without him.

Aside from sharing the ball, Allen has scored 20-plus points five times in the G League season and has notched double-figures in all but four contests. Before his call-up, Allen scored a season-high 27 points against Sioux Falls (1/26) on a tail-end of back-to-back where he averaged 23.5 points per game.

“He has gotten better each night as we’ve gone,” said Westchester Knicks head coach Mike Miller following Friday’s 108-97 victory over Memphis. “He’s really focused on those things and the guards in our league see so many different things. His decision making has been good, and he’s been finishing well. He’s taking it to the seven-footers, scoring the ball in a variety of ways and he has grown. There is no question that he has grown.”

“Mike Miller always talks about being consistent,” Allen said. “You have to be consistent and compete.”

Allen was selected 53rd overall by the Boston Celtics in the 2017 NBA Draft out of the University of Arizona (2015-17) and Hutchinson Community College (2012-14). In 34 games with the Celtics’ NBA G League affiliate, Allen averaged 17.7 points per game on 44.6-percent shooting, 5.5 rebounds per game and 5.0 assists per game.

In 32 games with Westchester thus far, Allen is averaging 14.7 points per game on 45.2-percent shooting, 5.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game.

He is the eighth Westchester Knick to earn a call-up and seventh under coach Miller. At least one player has earned a call-up each season since Westchester’s G League inception in 2014.

Allen ended, “Man, I’m excited. I just want to go out there and hoop.”

The New York Knicks return to action Wednesday, January 30 against the Dallas Mavericks at 7:30 PM ET at Madison Square Garden.