Seraphin admits Knicks career hurt by stress, being out of shape

Kevin Seraphin’s brief Knicks career got off on the wrong foot because he arrived in camp out of shape, leading to a season of sporadic minutes and playing catch-up. Still, the backup center said he was given assurances from Phil Jackson that “he would protect me” in free agency, only to go through the summer without contact from the Knicks.

Seraphin, who signed a two-year, $3.6 million deal with the Pacers, theorized his agent switch had something to do with New York’s cold shoulder.

“Phil told me (in my exit interview) that he basically was going to protect me and he wanted me back. He wanted me back,” Seraphin told the Daily News. “I changed agents during the summer so I don’t know if he stopped talking to (former agent Rich Paul). I know that Phil wanted me back and he told me from the meeting. He told me we have big plans, we have guys we’re trying to bring to the team, like Derrick Rose and all those guys, I didn’t know it was them but he said he had big plans for the team and like two weeks after free agency started that he would protect me. But I changed agents around that time so I don’t really know.”

Seraphin, 27, averaged 3.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in 48 games, which were dips from his production the previous four seasons with the Wizards.

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He understands why Derek Fisher stuck him at the end of the bench.

“I don’t know who to blame. I know at one point I wasn’t in shape in the beginning. Derek came and he was figuring out a way to win and he put the everything together. So I see where he’s coming from. If I’m the coach and I’m trying to put my stuff together, I’m on a team where everybody expects me to win and you have a guy who is not in shape and have another guy who is in shape, I would definitely go for the guy who is in shape. I don’t have time to try out a guy who is not in shape,” Seraphin said. “So I would do the same thing. I’m not really mad or anything.”

Seraphin said stress contributed to his poor work ethic in the summer of 2015.

“Because of free agency I let things I can’t control affect me at some point. That was my first free agency in my life. And it was really hard for me. Usually I’m not somebody who is stressed or anything, like everything is cool. And that summer I started to stress. I let all of it affect me and my motivation to work and when I came back to work I was out of shape. I worked my ass off during the season to get my weight down to 279 but it was a mistake. And right now, I’m pretty much in shape. I worked out all summer. If I was in the shape that I am now with the Knicks, it would not be the same story.”

Knicks’ Seraphin, has home in Paris, in shock over attacks

Seraphin’s highlight with the Knicks was leading a victory off the bench in November the day after the terrorist attacks in Paris. Seraphin, who plays for the French national team, said Saturday that game provided him a respite from the tragedy.

“That’s the beauty of sport.”

Tags:
nba
new york knicks
kevin seraphin
phil jackson
derek fisher

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