For Tyson Etienne, it wasn’t just growing up in the field that attracted him to the Knicks. There were intimate relationships as well.
Etienne’s godfather is former Nike center Marcus Camby and the relationship makes it feel like blood.
“I call him ‘Uncle,'” said Etienne. “She’s so close. If anything happens to my parents, I’ll be with them.”
On Wednesday, Etienne tried to impress the same coach, Tom Thibodeau, who helped guide the Cambies to the NBA Finals in 1999 as an assistant.
The 22-year-old guard out of Wichita State was part of a group of six prospects to work for the Knicks at the facility in Tarrytown, which included Fresno State’s Orlando Robinson and Oklahoma’s Jordan Goldwire.
No one is considered a first-round talent and may remain unfinished. But Etienne brings intrigue beyond his New York background—including playing AAU for the PSA Cardinals from the Bronx—and his old Knicks fantasy—which often brings him to the Garden as a spectator.
Etienne, who is 6-2, was considered a growing prospect and a potential draft pick a year ago as AAC Co-Player of the Year. He tested the draft waters but returned to Wichita State, only to have a team struggle (the Shockers went 15-13) and his 3-point percentage dropped from 39.2% to 32.6%.
Etienne hopes the pre-draft process, which already includes workouts with six NBA teams (Knicks, Nets, Kings, Hawks, Jazz and Celtics), will reinvest his stock.
“This season (with Wichita State) I had too many predictions for what was to come. Then obviously, we didn’t have much success as a team,” Etienne said. “Started very little but lasted. Months, a month and a half, I’m changing.”
Courtesy of his father’s best friend, he also has the advantage of an early NBA career outlook.
“One thing I appreciate my uncle (Cambi) is that he never took me away from the game,” Etienne said. “If my uncle had a game, I would watch him warm up and see what he would do before the game. I would watch the journey. He was able to open my eyes at a young age and it really helped me in my career.” .
The Knicks have their 11th and 42nd picks in this month’s draft. Last year his 58th pick (Jericho Sims) broke the rotation by the end of the season.
Jeremiah Horn, who engaged a crazy buzzer-beater for Tulsa last season, was also part of the Knicks workout on Wednesday, according to his agent, Daniel Hazan.
Horn is one of the 24-year-old draft prospects and sixth-year senior, but the sharpshooter impressed last month at the Portsmouth Invitational, where he also interviewed the Knicks.
Horn has previously worked for the Spurs, Lakers, Kings, Timberwolves and Suns. He is scheduled to work out with the Grizzlies on Thursday.
Horn averaged 16.1 points last season, while shooting 42% on 3-pointers. His best tré final at home for Tulsa was when he launched a 60-foot buzzer beater to defeat UCF.