Evan Fournier Shares Why He Signed With Knicks After Leaving Celtics

'It's freakin' New York. It's fun'


August 3, 2021

The Boston Celtics gave Evan Fournier a taste of what he craved.

After years with the Orlando Magic watching the NBA Playoffs from home every year, the wingman finally got to compete after a mid-season trade to the Celtics.

Boston just didn’t come close enough — to being capable of a deep postseason run or to the money the Knicks offered him. Re-signing with the Celtics was his initial plan, but he and president of basketball operations Brad Stevens couldn’t agree to terms.

Instead, Fournier signed with the New York Knicks. Aside from the four-year, $78 million contract they offered, the Frenchman shared what else led to him signing with the Knicks.

“The No. 1 thing was (coach Tom) Thibodeau; I love a coach like Thibs,’ Fournier told The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. “Playing for coaches like (Steve Clifford) for a few years, I feel like I’m going to be very comfortable with him and his style of play.”

And in New York, the 28-year-old will get to play every night on one of the biggest stages in sports: Madison Square Garden.

“I enjoy the pressure,” Fournier told The Globe. “I enjoy the spotlight. They had a really good season. They had a spot open and I thought I could really help them. And yeah, it’s freakin’ New York. It’s fun. You want to be part of something big, have pressure. You want to be a guy that competes every night.

“I felt like New York was a great opportunity for me to live those big moments.”

Good for Fournier.

In the mean time, the Celtics don’t seem concerned with replacing his scoring contributions with someone on the market. At least, not this season, as the strategy at this point seems to be positioning themselves for next year’s free agency.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
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