Kevin Knox Sr., the former Florida State wide receiver who won the 1993 national championship with Charlie Ward as quarterback, is known for his metaphors.
There’s expectation that once Rose is aboard, the edict will be to increase the minutes of the Knicks’ young prospects, including Knox.
In one of the low points to Knox’s sophomore season, he was benched Thursday for the second half in Philadelphia, playing just seven minutes and scoring one point.
Pun intended, Knox Sr. said his son will soon blossom like “a rose” — even if not until next season.
“All roses don’t bloom at the same time,’’ Knox Sr. told The Post in a phone interview Friday. “[Kentucky coach] John Calipari tried to tell you all. This is a rose. It will bloom. He’s going to be a butterfly. We’re just cocooning right now. When he gets out of the cocoon, he’s going to fly and be a very beautiful butterfly. It’s a process.
“You’ll be talking to me a year from now saying, ‘Wow, that rose looks real pretty and red.’ ”
Indeed, Calipari gave a stern warning to reporters at the NBA Draft Combine in 2018. The legendary Kentucky coach said Knox was then “a young 18’’ and a team drafting him would need to wait two seasons before he makes an impact.
Calipari is looking clairvoyant, as Knox’s regression has been a sad storyline to the 2019-20 season — the father’s flowery language aside.
Knicks GM Scott Perry took Knox at ninth-overall over his Kentucky teammate, point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is flourishing in his second season with the Thunder.
“Third year will be a charm — that’s how I look at it,’’ said Knox Sr., who was drafted by the NFL’s Bills in 1994. “A lot of people in the NBA, their third year they blossomed. Brandon Ingram, Kelly Oubre, Otto Porter. We’re just in New York. The team’s not doing good at this point.
“As [interim coach Mike] Miller said, ‘There’s ways to develop like playing in practice.’ If you’re not playing, what are you going to do about it? Just stop. You continue to get up shots and talk to vets. [He] can’t control if the coach puts [him] in for 25, 30 minutes. Does he want to play 25, 30 minutes? Absolutely.”
Knox’s scoring average has dipped to 6.5 points and he’s playing 10.5 fewer minutes per game (18.1) than he did as a rookie. Knox said before the game against the 76ers he believes he’s “definitely gotten a lot better,” citing defensive progress in terms of moving his feet and being stronger in the post.
“This year they’re working on his defense,’’ Knox Sr. said. “Last year they were offensive-oriented. He was really offensively aggressive and making things happen as a 19-year-old rookie. The second year, he needed to work on defense more to become a complete player. The third year, he’ll put it all together.”
A new regime is taking over, so there’s no guarantee the Knicks will move ahead with the 6-foot-9 Knox. Some scouts wonder about a low motor and whether he is quick enough to become a driving threat. They also are concerned about his waning 3-point shot.
Over the summer, Knox shut it down for a stretch because of knee soreness. Knox Sr. revealed doctors told them it was from “growing pains.” Knox has a size-18 shoe and still is expected to grow another inch, his father revealed.
“I’ve told my son to always look at the positive when something throws negatives at you,’’ Knox Sr. said. “If you throw lemons, I’ll make it lemonade. If he’s in New York, we’ll love it. If they decide to go in a different direction, we know he’ll put it together because he’s only 20 years old.’’