The New York Knicks left Washington, D.C. over the weekend with a 108-95 loss to the Wizards on their record, but it was still a winning trip out of the city from a cultural perspective.
The entire team took advantage of their time in the nation’s capital to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture, prior to Sunday’s game.
“It was an awesome visit for me learning more about that culture,” Ntilikina, a native of France, told amNewYork before Monday’s 116-115 double-overtime loss at home against the Chicago Bulls. “Me, coming from another country, it was very interesting. I learned about a lot of stories, a lot of details, it was just a great occasion to feed my knowledge, so I’m really thankful.”
The 20-year-old said learning the story of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old boy who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, resonated most with him.
“It really got stuck into my head," Ntilikina said, "and I can’t stop thinking about it.”
Rookie Allonzo Trier, who made the first start of his career against Chicago, appreciated the educational opportunity provided at the museum, which opened two years ago.
“That was a great learning experience about our culture, about things that have happened in America before our time,” Trier told amNewYork after Monday’s game. “I definitely gained a lot of respect for the things that people before our time went through.”
Trier left with a lesson about leadership, too.
“Obviously, there are some things that can still be better, but tribute to them for leading the way for us,” he said.
Knicks head coach David Fizdale has frequently expressed that the 2018-19 season is a learning experience. Some lessons, especially for the numerous younger players, will be taught on the court. Others can be learned elsewhere, like in a museum.