Bobby Portis says being an underdog is ‘great’ for the Knicks
The New York Knicks weren’t able to land even one superstar in free agency, as their top targets chose to sign long-term deals elsewhere. Instead, they settled for mid-tier players who are both filled with potential and question marks. One of the Knicks’ free agency signings is Bobby Portis, who averaged 14.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 39.3 percent from deep last season.
He signed a two-year $31 million deal with the team and is expected to play a key role for the Knicks next season.
People are already saying that the Knicks are going to have a bad season anew, but Portis believes that New York has what it takes to surprise a lot of people. In an interview with HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy, the 24-year-old forward said that he doesn’t mind being seen as the underdog because it gives him and his teammates extra motivation to prove their doubters wrong.
“I love being underrated, man. I’m an underdog. I say that every day. We’re the team that’s being counted out right now. People are looking past us. They’re talking about stars going to new teams and this and that, and that’s okay. Everybody on this team has a huge chip on their shoulder. We’re the guys who are always picked second. I think that’s going to make us close. Our practices are going to be top-notch; we’re all going to be competing and that’s going to make us better. We have a lot of dogs on this team, which will help us out as well. Collectively, we all have a chip on our shoulder – a log on our shoulder – so we’re going to go out there and play with an edge. I think that’s great for us.”
Aside from Portis, the Knicks also signed former lottery picks Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton. They also added savvy veteran Marcus Morris and sharpshooter Reggie Bullock. Not to mention the fact that they have a promising young core of Dennis Smith Jr., Mitchell Robinson, and this year’s third overall pick, RJ Barrett.
On paper, the Knicks do not have enough firepower to go toe-to-toe with some of the best teams in the league, but again, if Portis and co. continue to improve from this point forward, New York could potentially be one of the most surprising teams in the league.
In the end, it all boils down to how good the core of the team will be. For Portis, they can be something special.