Bobby Portis reacts to Revenge Game vs. Bulls, Madison Square Garden chants
Against the team that drafted him, Portis scored a season-high 28 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field (4-of-4 from beyond the arc), 11 rebounds, two assists and two blocks. One of his three-pointers came in go-ahead fashion with 1:47 remaining.
The Knicks were actually down 18 points at one time, but Portis led the team down the comeback trail. As a result of his outstanding play, the crowd inside Madison Square Garden began to chant his name.
“19,000 fans, man. It’s fun when they call your name,” Portis said during his post-game interview. “That was the first time it actually ever happened to me.”
An excited @BPortistime says it's the first time in his NBA career that the crowd has chanted his name:
"19,000 fans, man, it's fun when they call your name" pic.twitter.com/Wt1u6RU8KE
— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) October 29, 2019
Portis spent three and a half seasons with the Bulls before being traded to the Washington Wizards last season. Does this mean there was extra motivation for him to play well against his former team?
“I don’t really hold any bitter things against the Bulls anymore,” Portis told K.C. Johnson of NBC Chicago. Obviously, the first time you play a team (that traded you), you have the crazy desire. But now they’re just another basketball team.”
The feeling seems to be mutual, as Bulls head coach Jim Boylen called Portis one of his favorite people of all time:
“I’ve always said that Bobby Portis is one of my favorite guys of all time,” Boylen told ESPN following Monday’s game. “He’s a tough, competitive guy who works and cares. We traded Bobby Portis because that’s what happens in our league. It doesn’t mean we’re not fond of that player or don’t believe in that player. There are situations when a deal works and you put a player in it. He played great tonight. I’m disappointed that we lost but I’m happy that he played well.”
Before Monday night’s performance at Madison Square Garden, Portis was struggling to find a rhythm. In fact, he had just 18 points through his first three games with the Knicks.
“I feel like I wasn’t myself the first couple games and I didn’t bring the energy, so I had to get back to being who I am,” Portis told ESPN.
Hopefully, Portis will be able to maintain this level of play.
The Knicks will be back in action on Wednesday night, when they’ll travel to Orlando for a matchup against the Magic. Tip-off inside the Amway Center is set for 7:00 p.m. ET.