Over the last year and a half, the Knicks have been progressively embracing the Erie BayHawks as their formal minor league affiliate.
Upon entering a one-to-one relationship with the BayHawks last summer, New York appointed Assistant General Manager Allan Houston as the NBADL squad's G.M. This season (more so than last), the former Knicks' guard has been seen in Erie rather often What's more, he stays in constant contact with head coach Gene Cross, and continues to make scouting trips as he oversees basketball operations for the BayHawks.
Truly utilizing the relationship to their liking, the Knicks have "sent down" the likes of Amar'e Stoudemire, James White, and Chris Copeland to practice with the BayHawks already this season. What's more, former New York training camp invitee Henry Sims recently earned an NBADL All-Star nod with Erie, and the team essentially flipped another former Knicks' camp participant, Mychel Thompson, in a three-team deal that brought in forward Mike Singletary.
This past Friday, the BayHawks hosted "Knicks Affiliate Night," where the minor league squad honored some of its top past and present players over the last five years and also welcomed a bevy of different Knicks-related performers to put on a show for the local fans.
Houston and Larry Johnson, a Knicks great and former teammate of the BayHawks executive, also made appearances for the special occasion. The two spent their early time in town speaking with and mentoring some of the area's more promising young basketball talent too, according to this report.
Though the BayHawks failed to come away with a victory on Friday night against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, both Knickerbocker legends stuck around to watch the team defeat the Canton Charge on Saturday night instead.
Sims must've known important eyes were on him this weekend, as the big man tied his season-high in points (30) on Friday and his season-high in assists (6) the following night. Having averaged 21 points on 59% from the field, 9 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2 blocks on the weekend, there's no doubted the Georgetown alum must've impressed.
Singletary may have been a tad less dominant than his teammate, but still managed to elevate his game this weekend as well. The guard averaged 13 points on 55% from the field, 4.5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.5 steals. Singeletary is a player whose shot needs to become more consistent, but that may be difficult to do given the sporadic minutes he's been given as of late. Nevertheless, he can rest-assured that as he finds his rhythm, Houston already regards him relatively highly.
Houston has been instrumental in forming a bond between the BayHawks and Knicks, and this past weekend only further proved it. Though immediate call-ups for players like Sims or Singletary to New York may not be in the cards just yet, the big league squad is reportedly interested in having a player like Chris Smith (J.R. Smith's brother) don a BayHawks jersey in the near future.