Jacob Toppin desires to make one thing clear: He’s not his brother, Obi.
They could share a final identify and a few similarities — they’re each athletic forwards who can soar to the moon — however they don’t seem to be the identical.
“We’re two completely different individuals,” the undrafted rookie mentioned. “Clearly, we’re gonna be completely different gamers.”
Comparisons are certain to return. Obi spent the primary three years of his NBA profession with the Knicks, and now Jacob is following in his footsteps. Or at the very least hoping to.
Shortly earlier than the Knicks dealt Obi to the Pacers for 2 future second-round picks this summer time, ending an underwhelming stint for the previous lottery choose, they signed Jacob to an Exhibit 10 contract.
Not like Obi, the No. 8 general choose within the 2020 draft, Jacob has to combat simply to make the roster.
He began properly, producing 4 factors, two blocks and two rebounds in 10 minutes in Monday night time’s preseason opener.
“I’m an individual who lives life the place I needed to earn every little thing,” mentioned the 6-foot-9 Jacob, an unranked prospect popping out of highschool. “Nothing was given to me. So, I simply take it as on a regular basis I’ve to return in, I’ve to carry out in every little thing that I do and provides one hundred pc. So, that’s actually what I’ve been centered on.”
Obi was a giant faculty star, the Nationwide Participant of the 12 months throughout his ultimate season on the College of Dayton.
Jacob spent one yr at Rhode Island earlier than transferring to Kentucky.
Final season, he broke out, averaging 12.4 factors, 6.8 rebounds and a couple of.2 assists, doubling his numbers from the earlier season. He nonetheless didn’t get drafted.
“I like him rather a lot. I like his power. On a regular basis he is available in, [has] nice focus,” coach Tom Thibodeau mentioned. “He’s nonetheless slightly uncooked, [there are] issues he has to work on. However he’s a terrific employee. So simply maintain doing what you’re doing. He brings nice power. There’s a defensive part to him. Likes contact, rebounds in site visitors, that type of factor. Runs the ground. He’s acquired to develop consistency along with his shot and he’s actually labored onerous at it.”
Requested to check the 2, Thibodeau mentioned Obi is the higher athlete and extra superior offensively, however he raved about Jacob’s protection.
That was all the time a shortcoming of Obi’s, and one cause his function was restricted.
It’s probably Jacob’s path to creating the roster.
“I really feel like I might convey rather a lot defensively. I believe I might guard a number of positions,” he mentioned. “I’m simply very versatile on that aspect. Clearly, regardless of the workforce wants me to do, I’m gonna do.”
It’s humorous how issues work out. Simply as Jacob arrives with the Knicks, Obi is gone.
They’ve talked steadily about what’s to return, Obi giving Jacob recommendation.
He’s able to carve out his personal area of interest with the orange and blue.
“Clearly, my brother has his personal path and I’ve my very own path and this complete course of, I’ve been attempting to deal with myself and be higher each single day and that’s what I’ve been doing,” Jacob mentioned. “This complete summer time was simply working to be a greater model of myself on a regular basis.”
- Jacob Toppin downplays comparability with ex-Knick brother Obi
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