Ron Baker Does The Little Things

Ron Baker saw the two little boys sitting baseline at a recent Knicks game and he remembered what it was like to be that age, to be starstruck by the stars at Kansas, Kansas State and Wichita State.

Baker jogged to the Knicks locker room at The Garden, grabbed a pair of sneakers and socks, and delivered the goods to Sammy and David ‘Squirmy’ Turkowitz.

“Their eyes were as big as saucers,’’ Baker told MSGNetworks.com. “It was cool. Sometimes the little things are what matters most.’’

Sammy (left) and Squirmy (right)

That last sentence has stuck with me as we approach New Year’s Eve. Maybe a once-a-year-resolution isn’t the only way to go. Maybe it’s about the little things – every day.

“I was always around kids when I was growing up,’’ Baker said. “I spent a lot of time at the community center in Scott City. Players from the schools in Kansas would go barnstorming in the summer.

“I met Wayne Simien, Nick Collison, and Kirk Hinrich, who was my idol growing up. They gave me their autographs. When you’re a kid, athletes are your heroes and for them to take the time to give me an autograph and talk for a few minutes, it’s something I’ll never forget.’’

Neither will Sammy, 11, and Squirmy, 7.

Their dad, Norman, said Squirmy tried on the socks as soon as they got home. No word on whether they’ve come off.

Sammy placed the sneakers on a high shelf at home to prevent them from being touched by human hands.

“They both were shocked and surprised,’’ Norm Turkewitz said. “They could not believe it. Now they watch Knick games, looking and following Ron Baker and of course looking at his shoes. He has two fans for life.’’

The Knicks (17-18) will look to snap a season-high four game losing streak tonight when they play at New Orleans. The Knicks are 2-12 on the road. The Pelicans (18-17) are 9-8 at home.

[Watch Knicks-Pelicans Tonight on MSG & Download Free on MSG GO]

The game will feature a showdown between two of best young big men in the game – Kristaps Porzingis and Anthony Davis. Baker is on the road trip and should see some minutes as the Knicks continue to play without the injured Tim Hardaway Jr.

Baker has another unique insight to kids. His mother, Ranae, is in her 30th year teaching elementary school in Kansas.

She teaches her students the same lessons she taught her children: In addition to the ABC’s, she’s big on doing the little things. Do enough of them, do them often, and good things can happen.

[Robbins: Baker Brings Small Town Toughness to Big City]

“Playing in the NBA is a privilege,’’ said Baker. “It’s like driving. It’s a privilege to drive. You do your work. You pass the test. You’ve earned the right to drive. It’s a privilege.

“It’s the same thing playing in the NBA. You do your work. You make a team. You keep working because it’s such a privilege. I never forget that.’’

Baker has endured a challenging second season. The Knicks used their first round draft pick on point guard Frank Ntilikina and signed veteran lead guards Jarrett Jack and Ramon Sessions.

The injury bug also has bitten. A sprained ankle and a sprained shoulder he suffered playing in the G-League have prevented him from being 100-percent for several weeks.

He’s averaged 3.4 points in 15 minutes per game. He’s played in just 16 of 35 games and has yet to start. Last season he appeared in 52 games, starting 13 and averaged 4.1 points in 16.5 minutes.

Baker refuses to use the logjam at point guard or the injuries as an excuse. In fact, he has never seen a glass that wasn’t half full.

“I think it’s just about how you go about your life,’’ Baker said. “It’s nice to do the big things when you can but to me, it’s more about doing the little things every day.

“You never know what effect that will have on someone. You never know how it will affect you. That was something I learned when I was a kid. The little things can mean a lot.’’

[Watch Knicks-Pelicans Tonight on MSG & Download Free on MSG GO]

The Garden of Dreams Foundation helps kids facing obstacles in the Tri-State area, including Rangers fan Taylor Ryan who is battling a rare blood disorder called Langerhans cell histiocytosis.