Knicks Fans Greeted Kristaps Porzingis With Boos In His Return To New York

Less than one year ago, the Dallas Mavericks finalized a deal to acquire Kristaps Porzingis from the New York Knicks. Due to Porzingis’ injury concerns and the logistics of the NBA schedule when pitting teams in different conferences against one another, Porzingis did not return to Madison Square Garden as a member of the opposition until Thursday evening and, fittingly, a national television audience took in the festivities.

Upon arrival, though, Porzingis was roundly booed. The warm welcome from the New York faithful started during pregame warm-ups.

Things once again got awfully loud when Porzingis was announced during starting lineup introductions, with a full chorus raining down on the former Knicks big man.

Things also seemingly got personal, at least for some fans.

And once the game started, Knicks fans made it a point to let him hear it.

It certainly wasn’t a surprise to see Porzingis booed by the New York faithful, particularly given the fact that he forced his way out of town. Still, it was noteworthy to see the kind of wholehearted disapproval from the Knicks crowd, especially when Porzingis hadn’t actually played in New York for more than 18 months.

Porzingis has struggled to this point in his Mavericks tenure, all while Dallas is playing quite well as a team. In nine appearances, the big man is shooting just 40 percent from the floor and, while there have been intriguing moments, the Mavericks have been outscored by 8.3 points per 100 possessions with Porzingis on the floor. In a bit of small sample gymnastics, Dallas has a sparkling +19.6 net rating when Porzingis is off the floor but, of course, Dallas is heavily invested in his success alongside Luka Doncic, both now and for the future.

On this night, though, none of that seemed to matter and it was more of a visceral reaction than anything else. Let’s just say that Knicks fans don’t seem to be thrilled with their former star.