Video: Mavs’ Kristaps Porzingis receives deafening boos during pregame introduction vs. Knicks
Standing boos in Porzingis' return to NYC pic.twitter.com/ZX1aCv5ZgN
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) November 15, 2019
Knicks fans boo KP during intros in his first game back to MSG 🗣
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 15, 2019
Some fans even told Porzingis to “Go back to Latvia:”
Kristaps Porzingis smiled while being lustily booed during pregame introductions. That wasn't the word of it: During the national anthem, one fan called KP, "Traitor," & another told him, "Go back to Latvia!" #Porzingapalooza
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) November 15, 2019
And, according to Brain Mahoney of the AP, the jeers were as loud for Porzingis as they have been for any other player in the league in the last decade, including LeBron James:
The boos for Porzingis rival just about any here in the last decade. Right up there with LeBron, Kris Humphries. Kyrie still to come.
— Brian Mahoney (@briancmahoney) November 15, 2019
Of course, Porzingis is accustomed to the loathing of the New York crowd. His career began in similar fashion.
The 24-year-old was booed by fans when the Knicks drafted him with the No. 4 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. At the time, Porzingis was a mostly unknown commodity as far as draft prospects raw, and his raw potential was questioned by a number of talent evaluators.
However, Porzingis would slowly garner the respect and admiration of the New York crowd. After a fairly successful rookie campaign in which he was named to the All-Rookie First Team, Porzingis averaged 18.1 points per game in his second season while also showcasing his range as a 7-footer.
Porzingis was named to the All-Star team in his third season, averaging 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 48 games before suffering an ACL injury that keep him out for the remainder of the season.
Although he was the new rising star in New York, Porzingis expressed his displeasure with the Knicks front office. He was skeptical of how the team handled Carmelo Anthony’s departure, and was vocal about his frustrations with the team’s inability to compete.
Those frustrations eventually led to the Knicks shipping Porzingis to Dallas last February. He has continued to criticize the organization since the move, something Knicks fans have apparently not forgotten.