Knicks lose Filipino wellness lead Erwin Valencia

Published July 19, 2023, 2:30 PMJC Ansis

Filipino physical therapist and trainer Erwin Valencia recently announced that he is leaving the New York Knicks.

Photo from Erwin Valencia/IG

Filipino physical therapist and trainer Erwin Valencia is leaving the New York Knicks and the NBA, he recently announced.

"It is with deep sadness but immense gratitude that I share I will no longer be a member of the New York Knicks Medical and Performance Staff beginning the 2023–2024 Season," he said in a thank you letter published on Medium.

Valencia spent nine seasons with the organization, joining the Knicks in 2014 as the director of training and conditioning which is part of the medical and performance division. In 2019, he became the team's physical therapist, athletic trainer, and wellness lead.

In his letter, he expressed his gratitude towards the Knicks, the league, and New York City.

"Thank you to the New York Knicks, Madison Square Garden, the 'Garden Faithful', and every beautiful soul who’s [sic] life I’ve touched and who’s touched my life during these past nine seasons," he shared.

"Thank you to the NBA and everyone I’ve ever connected and collaborated with at league offices. Your continued dedication to improve the game around the world has continued to inspire kids like me to one day find themselves right in the thick of things of the sport we love. It’s been an honor to be in service of the brand and mission in these past nine seasons, and I hope to continue to do so in my own capacity moving forward. 

"Thank you to NEW YORK CITY, and humans that make it like no other place in [sic] the planet. It’s through your example I’ve learned how to be resilient, be more open to 'anything', and be more 'direct' (a trait that I definitely learned being here)... I’m honored to have represented the best parts of this city both while in it and when I’m outside of it traveling the world."


Valencia acknowledged that it is "time for a sabbatical" and said that he wants to "give myself time to find stillness" before continuing his career.

"For if I am going to serve as a champion to those who are struggling to find balance, trying their best not to burnout, and believe that it’s possible to thrive in life and have it all, I need to first be the example of the possibility, even if I have become a GHOST for a few months or so to make sure I’m honoring myself," he said.

Valencia was one of the main people responsible for bringing the Knicks' space and wellness program to life. Last season, he helped Knicks star Julius Randle with his pregame meditation routine.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from the University of the Philippines in 1999.