Mavericks' Kristaps Porzingis shares his thoughts on the Knicks' struggles ahead of Thursday's return to MSG
Porzingis was traded to the Mavericks in January after requesting the trade from the Knicks
Entering Thursday night's nationally televised matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks, a packed Madison Square Garden will likely hurl boos at Kristaps Porzingis when he's introduced in Dallas' starting lineup, and likely every time he touches the ball throughout the game.
It'll probably be cathartic for Knicks fans who have been waiting for this moment ever since Porzingis requested a trade from the team in January, landing him in the Lone Star State. Porzingis has moved on, and is now on a team with a 6-4 record to start the season, and playing alongside early MVP candidate Luka Doncic. The future for the Mavs looks bright, but for the Knicks, it's just the same old story of dysfunction and embarrassing losses.
Porzingis spent four seasons in New York -- three of which he played -- where the Knicks totaled a record of 109-219, with no playoff appearance to show for it. Every year the Knicks set rather unattainable goals for the team, and every year, they failed to reach them. Although Porzingis is on the outside looking in now, he knows all too well of the ups and downs of playing for the Knicks.
"When I was there the expectations were always high for us," Porzingis said while speaking to reporters. "The city is always hungry for success in basketball, and for them -- for the fans -- and the city to be going through that year after year, it's got to be tough. So it's always a lot of pressure. And when things aren't going right, usually there needs to be changes. This year is no different for them again. It's tough. It is what it is."
The Knicks are sitting at 2-9, and the team's executives have spent the last week, while the Mavericks look like they could contend for a playoff spot this year. Porzingis is averaging 18.3 points this season along with a career-high 7.9 boards. After signing a five-year deal with the Mavericks in the offseason, it sounds like he's content with where he's at now.
"You know what? It's in the past now and I don't want to bring it back up, you know? It is what it is, it happened and now I'm in a new place and looking forward to what's ahead of me," Porzingis said.
While he may not want to talk about what led him to leave the Knicks, Porzingis does wish that his time with the organization was more successful than it was, and still has love for the support the city showed him over the years.
"When you're a Knick -- and we weren't even doing that well -- but when you're decent, there's usually a lot of love and you get treated really well," Porzingis said. "This is a basketball city, and it sucks that we never really got to do something big here."
Now that he's no longer in New York, though, all that love and support is thrown out the window, and Knicks fans will get to show Porzingis exactly how they feel about him when he takes the court Thursday night.
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