Mavericks' Kristaps Porzingis Says He Misses New York Ahead of Game vs. Knicks

Adam WellsApril 1, 2021

Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis shoots free throws during an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in Dallas, Friday, March 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Ahead of his second game at Madison Square Garden as a visiting player, Dallas Mavericks star Kristaps Porzingis has fond memories of the place he called home for the first three seasons of his NBA career. 

Porzingis told reporters he misses New York City:

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"I miss the city, I miss this place. A lot of people here still show me love"<br><br>- Kristaps Porzingis on returning to New York pic.twitter.com/3NQIOoIGXS

Porzingis played his first road game against the New York Knicks on Nov. 14, 2019. He finished with a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds, but the Knicks got the last laugh with a 106-103 win. 

New York selected Porzingis with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft. The hope was that he would become the face of Knicks basketball and lead the franchise back to prominence. 

Things didn't work out that way because of a number of issues. Porzingis had problems staying on the court as a result of injuries, most notably a torn ACL he suffered in February 2018. 

There were also reported problems behind the scenes between Porzingis and Knicks management. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Zach Lowe and Ramona Shelburne reported on Jan. 31, 2019, that Porzingis "expressed his concern with the losing, franchise direction and an uncertainty that a culture is developing that will enable sustainable organizational success" in a meeting with the Knicks front office. 

Later that same day, Porzingis was traded to the Mavs. He signed a five-year, $158 million extension with Dallas in July 2019. 

Even though injuries have continued to be a problem in Dallas, Porzingis has started to find a rhythm with the organization. The 25-year-old is averaging 20.4 points on a career-high 47.8 percent shooting, 8.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 30 starts this season. 

The Mavs will play the Knicks at MSG on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET.