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Michael Rapaport: Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis understands ‘New York mentality’

The New York Knicks have gone through some major changes over the past couple of years. The team has parted ways with Phil Jackson while also trading away the face of the franchise in Carmelo Anthony and now appear to have their superstar of the future in Kristaps Porzingis.

With so many drastic changes on the floor and in the front office, it was thought to be another rough year for the Knicks this season. Although New York hasn’t completely turned it around, Porzingis has given the team a reason for optimism as they have started the 2017-18 campaign with a 6-5 record.

Kristaps Porzingis, Carmelo Anthony

Sergio Estrada/USA TODAY Sports

In an interview with ClutchPoints, Michael Rapaport, who just released a new book This Book Has Balls, talked about his beloved Knicks and the recent trade to send Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“I think it was it was good,” Rapaport said of the Carmelo Anthony trade. “He didn’t deserve to be berated by Phil Jackson nor did [Kristaps] Porzingis deserve to be taunted by him. I think inevitably it will be good for Carmelo, whether he ends up staying in Oklahoma or not, I don’t think he deserved to be treated the way he was treated in New York.”

Rapaport also talked about Porzingis’ potential to be the player that finally turns the Knicks around after so many years of disappointment and failed expectations for the franchise in New York.

“I definitely think he’s a centerpiece,” Rapaport said of Porzingis. “I think that he’s talented and obviously very big, and I think he gets playing in New York and I think he gets the New York mentality. He gets what the crowd and the fans and the media in New York want to see.

“I think he gets it. The way he talks to the press and the way he talks about the fans and the New York fans. He understands that. As long as he can stay healthy, he’s the real deal.”

Kristaps Porzingis

Abbie Parr/Getty Images

With the recent fiasco involving former Knicks great Charles Oakley and his incident at Madison Square Garden last season, we asked Rapaport about James Dolan and how Knicks fans view the owner of the storied franchise.

We don’t like him,” Rapaport said of Dolan. “We don’t respect him. He’s not respected in New York.”

The ugly incident with Oakley at Madison Square Garden may have been the boiling for fans of the team.

That really brought it to a head,” Rapaport said. “The Oakley incident brought it to a head.”

Although Dolan remains public enemy number one in New York among Knicks fans, there’s no doubting the excitement about the future in the hands of Porzingis. New York finally has a young franchise player to build around with the once-struggling team potentially threatening to make the playoffs as early as this season.