Kristaps Porzingis on Knicks Fans Booing in Return to MSG: 'It Is What It Is'

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2019

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the Dallas Mavericks looks on against the New York Knicks on November 14, 2019 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE  (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Thursday night marked Kristaps Porzingis' first game at Madison Square Garden since he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in January, and he received a not-so-warm reception from New York Knicks fans.

After a 106-103 loss, Porzingis declined to say whether the fans' hostility toward him was fair or not, adding, "It is what it is."

It was clear right from the start that Knicks fans were going to be on Porzingis all night, as they heavily booed him during pregame introductions:

During the game, New York fans directed a NSFW chant in the Mavericks star's direction:

Porzingis didn't let the crowd bother him, though, as he put up 20 points on 7-of-17 shooting:

It wasn't that long ago that Porzingis was a beloved athlete in the Big Apple. 

Taken fourth overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the Unicorn showed no shortage of potential during his time in New York. He averaged 17.8 points while shooting 36.1 percent from three-point range over his two-plus years on the court.

However, the 7'3" forward suffered a torn ACL in February 2018. That would be the last time he would put on a Knicks uniform.

Porzingis was traded to Dallas 11 months later as he was recovering from his knee injury. Knicks president Steve Mills said in May that Porzingis had demanded a trade, threatening to return to Europe if the team did not move him within seven days:

Mills previously told MSG Networks that Porzingis had made it known he would not re-sign with the team.

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