Knicks fans haven’t forgiven Kristaps Porzingis for requesting a trade two years ago, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. The limited crowd at Madison Square Garden booed the Mavericks‘ center throughout Friday’s game, which Dallas was able to win even though he had a sub-par performance.
“The reaction was what I expected, of course,” Porzingis said. “I’m happy we got the win.”
It was Porzingis’ second game at the Garden since the deal, and the response seemed to rattle him, as he missed six of his first seven shots from the field. Fans began anti-Porzingis chants during introductions and they continued loudly until the Mavericks took control of the game.
Former teammate Derrick Rose is sympathetic, saying he understands Porzingis’ decision to make a trade request.
“When you think about the situation it wasn’t an easy situation for both sides, with him wanting to leave and with them, the fans felt like they put their all into him by supporting him,” Rose said. “I get it. I was in a similar situation when I left Chicago. People felt like it was me.”
There’s more on the Knicks:
- It’s up to Rose to justify the front office’s decision to pass on making a big deal at the trade deadline, states Marc Berman of The New York Post. Rose, who was acquired from the Pistons in early February, represents the only significant trade the Knicks have made since the season began.
- Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said coaches around the league aren’t surprised that Tom Thibodeau has the Knicks in playoff contention in his first year with the team, Berman adds in a separate story. “He’s a guy that has great respect in the coaching ranks, because of what he stands for as a tactician, what he stands for as a guy that believes in tough, hard-nosed play, unselfish play, and particularly on the defensive side,” Carlisle said. “He’s got this team playing to its strengths.’’
- Mike Woodson, who resigned as an assistant with the Knicks to become the head coach at Indiana University, discusses Thibodeau, team executive William Wesley (“World Wide Wes”), president of basketball operations Leon Rose and other topics in an interview with Steve Serby of The New York Post.
- Newly-signed center Norvel Pelle will be available for tonight’s game, but Thibodeau described him as “situational,” which means he won’t be part of the rotation unless something unexpected happens, Bondy tweets. Thibodeau added that the scouting staff likes what it has seen from Pelle.