Kevin Seraphin woke up on Sunday morning, but it wasn’t like any other day for the French center. Just two days earlier coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris had left his city shell-shocked as more than 128 people were killed, and 350 more were wounded. Seraphin knew he wanted to do something to honor those in the City of Light, so he called his barber to his house prior to Sunday’s game against the Pelicans at Madison Square Garden and had “PARIS’’ — with the A replaced by an Eiffel Tower — and a peace sign shaved into the back of his hair.
“I woke up early,’’ Seraphin said. “I just wanted to do something creative and do [something] different, not just put something on my shoes. I had no time to make a tattoo.”
The tributes to the City of Light didn’t end there. The Knicks played the French national anthem prior to tip-off, and Seraphin admitted it was hard not to break down as he proudly recited the words.
“I got goose bumps,’’ Seraphin added. “I wanted to cry, but the camera was there so I can’t do that. But it was really emotional. I sing it, too.”
Serpahin, a member of the French national team, hadn’t played on Friday night against the Cavaliers, and looked like another DNP when he didn’t get a second of court-time in the first half of the eventual 95-87 victory over New Orleans, but Knicks’ coach Derek Fisher called his number with under five minutes remaining in the third quarter, and Seraphin did not disappoint. He finished the night with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting, along with three rebounds.
“He gets the game ball. If we were doing team game balls, he gets it,” Carmelo Anthony said. “He deserves it. He was ready, came in and was a big part of kind of our run that we made.
“To see him, and what he is dealing with emotionally and mentally, be prepared when his number was called was big.”
Fisher spoke about inserting Seraphin into such a critical juncture of the contest after the game.
“He’s been working hard to keep himself in shape even though he hasn’t played a lot of minutes,” said Fisher. “We felt like he was active enough, and energetic enough, to give us a punch. We know what he can do offensively but it was good to see the defensive rebounding.”
Added Seraphin: “It’s difficult, for sure. It’s hard timing and crazy to be out there. There’s nobody out on the street (in Paris). It’s hard because it can happen anywhere. You just don’t know, so that’s kind of scary because my family, my mom, live in Paris. But you cannot be scared of it. We just have to fight for it.”
Image via: @nyknicks