Posts Tagged ‘New York Knicks’

Rookie Diary, Volume 4: Kristaps Porzingis

VIDEO: Prozingis wins the Kia Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for January

Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks and Myles Turner of the Pacers will alternate on a weekly diary for NBA.com covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off. This week: Porzingis discusses preparing for his first All-Star weekend, to play for the World team against the United States roster in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge with the best rookies and second-year players on Friday night in Toronto.

I wasn’t too surprised when I was told I had been picked. But it was a goal. I wanted to be in the rookie game. I was already talking about it last season, when I was still in Spain. During this same time, I was talking with my agent and my family that “Hopefully next year or whenever. I want to be there.” So it was a good feeling to make it. It was nice to find out that I was in the game, and I’ll have my parents and two of my older brothers with me.

I would rather play in the game than have the time off during All-Star break. During the season the only thing I focus on is basketball. If you can have a few days off, that’s fine. If not, you keep working. Playing at All-Star weekend was something that I wanted to do and if that’s how it is then I’m not going to get any days off.

I’ve been talking to a few of my teammates and the people who work with the team about what to expect, asking how it’s going to be. Actually you’ve got to do a lot of extra stuff, a lot of media. They’re preparing me for everything that’s coming. They’re mostly telling me that it’s not just one game and that’s it. There’s a lot of stuff going on before. Everybody’s giving me advice.

I’m looking forward to going out there with all the rookies and kind of reuniting with all of them from the rookie transition program before the season. It will be fun. I met all those guys and I stayed in touch with a lot of those guys, so it will be fun to play against them again and have fun out there.

I’m not really trying to meet somebody in particular apart from the game. But it will be nice to see all those famous people out there. Probably not for our game, but more for the big All-Star game. Maybe I’ll get to meet some rappers maybe or other people. I’m not sure yet if I’ll even go to the other events. I might. We’ll see if I stay that long in Toronto.

I’m sure I will be thinking when I’m there about playing in the All-Star game one day. That’s one of my goals, that I want to be there. I want to be an All-Star. Right now I’m really focusing on what’s going on now and not looking two, three, four or five years in front of me. But in the long term, I obviously want to be there. I want to be part of the big event.

That’s motivation for me, how hard you’ve got to work to be there and to make it. That’s one of the rewards you get. To be one of those 24 guys that are in the All-Star game, I think that’s a dream for everybody. But I don’t want to get away from the things that are happening now. I really want to focus on what’s going on now. That opportunity might come, but I’ve just really got to focus on the day-to-day and getting better.

Every event like this is something that stays in your memory. It’s something that you achieved in your first year in the NBA. You’re able to play in the rookie game. That’s a nice thing to remember going forward and looking back 20 years from now and remembering all those good times – my first year, how I got adjusted, how I got picked for the rookie game. Those are good memories. Nothing will be able to replace that.

POSTERIZED POLL Week of Feb. 5

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Like we always do at this time, let’s take a look at the best instances of people getting #POSTERIZED over the last week and, at the bottom of the post, you can place your vote for a winner. And don’t forget, if you see someone get posterized, tweet it with the hashtag #POSTERIZED so we don’t miss it!

I missed last week’s #POSTERIZED poll because I was traveling, working on a cool piece for NBA TV (coming soon!). Which means more dunks than usual this week!

Let’s get to the dunks. Special shoutout to the previous winner, Sacramento’s Rajon Rondo!
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Robin Lopez continues fight with The Raptor

By Jeff Case

For a few seasons running now, New York Knicks center Robin Lopez has been unabashed in his hatred of mascots, yes. But in particular, he’s had a special, dark place in his heart for the Toronto Raptors’ mascot, The Raptor.

The struggle as we’ve documented around these parts goes back at least 2 years. Last night, the Raptor went to an old trick — a piece of poster board with a list on it — and Lopez took the bait. It also ended a lot like that last poster board-fueled incident, too …

Rookie Diary, Volume 3: Kristaps Porzingis


VIDEO: Kristaps Porzingis nominee for January’s Rookie of the Month

Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks and Myles Turner of the Pacers will alternate on a weekly diary for NBA.com covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off. This week: Porzingis discusses being in contention for Rookie of the Year and what the award would mean to fans in New York and his native Latvia. 

Rookie of the Year is secondary for me. It’s nice to have that recognition and that people recognize what I’m doing for the team. But the best reward is making the playoffs and the team having success there. If that happens then I’ll be able to feel better about the season.

I follow other rookies because I’ve gotten to know some of the guys and we stay in touch. Obviously I’m following the NBA, anything about it, so part of that is I’m paying attention to how the rookies did every game. It’s fun to follow those guys. Hopefully I can play a lot of years with all those guys I’ve met.

Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor, they’re playing at a fantastic level right now. They’re good for their teams and their making a lot of plays for their teams. Those two are the best rookies I’ve seen. It’s between us three. Those guys are playing really good basketball and I’m trying to do the same thing. I don’t know how you evaluate who’s been the best. Is it team success? Is it only individual success? But they’re good for their teams.

Winning the award will just show a lot of people who thought I wasn’t ready that I was actually ready my first season. That’s nice to get an award. But it all starts with team success. If the team wins, that’s when all those kind of awards come. That’s the main focus. But obviously it would be very nice to receive awards like that.

I think winning Rookie of the Year would mean a lot to people in New York. We could give them some hope that we’re heading in the right direction and I can be a part of that. That would not only be nice for us, the team, but especially for the city and the fans. They’ve been waiting for that.

And I think people in Latvia would be extremely proud of me. It’s not every day we have a player in the NBA and especially one that is able to play in the first season. They would be really proud of me. That’s one of the things I’m trying to do, make them proud.

I don’t know exactly how big it would be there. I think a lot of people know who I am, but I don’t know if they know much about what the rookie award is. They would all be

really happy about it and for me. I don’t think it would be like a championship celebration, but I think they would definitely be happy for me.

POSTERIZED POLL Week of Jan. 22

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Like we always do at this time, let’s take a look at the best instances of people getting #POSTERIZED over the last week and, at the bottom of the post, you can place your vote for a winner. And don’t forget, if you see someone get posterized, tweet it with the hashtag #POSTERIZED so we don’t miss it!

Let’s get right to it this week. Special shoutout to last week’s winner, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan!

OK, let’s get to the POSTERS…so many entrants this week, perhaps our strongest poll yet from top to bottom, including a special double dose of the great Boban Marjanovic(more…)

Curry, James, Kobe have NBA’s most popular jerseys

CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 18: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on against Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors on January 18, 2016 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — During the recent holiday season, a bunch of people apparently got NBA jerseys as gifts — according to a release from the NBA, NBAStore.com had its largest Black Friday (Nov. 27) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 30) in history, with combined sales up 20 percent from the previous year. But which jerseys were the most popular? Here’s a look at the top 15 most popular jerseys, based on sales from October 2015 through December 2015, which features a conspicuous debut from one rated rookie…

1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
4. Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
5. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
6. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
7. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
8. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
9. James Harden, Houston Rockets
10. Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
11. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
12. Paul George, Indiana Pacers
13. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
14. Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers
15. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

Also, here are the ten most popular teams in terms of merchandise sold…

1.  Golden State Warriors
2. Chicago Bulls
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Los Angeles Lakers
5. New York Knicks
6. San Antonio Spurs
7. Oklahoma City Thunder
8. Miami Heat
9. Boston Celtics
10. L.A. Clippers

Amir Johnson blocks Robin Lopez’s shoe

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Boston Celtics signed Amir Johnson to help shore up their interior presence, and give them a rim protector. Last night against the Knicks, we discovered that Johnson’s defensive ability extends even to stopping a shoe belonging to Robin Lopez

Kristaps Porzingis meets crying Knicks fan

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the biggest stories of the NBA season thus far has been the debut season of New York Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis. A 7-3, 20-year-old from Latvia, the Knicks drafted Porzingis with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, with the idea that while Porzingis was talented, it might take a few seasons for Porzingis to develop and reach his full potential.

Except nobody told Porzingis, who has been very good all season, averaging 13.6 points and 8 rebounds per game, and turning in a highlight reel worth of dunks and blocks and jumpers.

Which makes it all the more ironic to think about the reaction from the fans in the Barclays Center when Porzingis was announced as the Knicks’ draft pick. There were boos, and there were even tears, which Porzingis has been working on turning around. And now it looks like Porzingis has turned around at least one high-profile early detractor…

POSTERIZED POLL Week of Jan. 8

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Like we always do at this time, let’s take a look at the best instances of people getting #POSTERIZED over the last week and, at the bottom of the post, you can place your vote for a winner. And don’t forget, if you see someone get posterized, tweet it with the hashtag #POSTERIZED so we don’t miss it!

Before we get to the NBA posters, let’s take a moment and give a shoutout to the NBA D-League, which is currently gathered in Santa Cruz, California, for their annual D-League Showcase. Jaron Johnson plays for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, and while he may not be in the NBA quite yet, I think we can all agree that his POSTERIZING skills are NBA worthy for sure…


VIDEO: Jaron Johnson

Special shoutout to last week’s winner, Boston’s Marcus Smart, who narrowly defeated Utah’s Alec Burks in his attempt to get back-to-back POSTERIZED POLL wins.

OK, let’s get to the POSTERS…
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Rookie Diary, Volume 2: Kristaps Porzingis


VIDEO: Knicks’ rookie Kristaps Porzingis is all the rage in New York

Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks and Myles Turner of the Pacers will alternate on a weekly diary for NBA.com covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off. This week: Porzingis discusses winning over the fans who were skeptical before the draft, especially the young Knicks supporter who was captured crying when New York selected Porzingis but was photographed a couple weeks ago wearing a Porzingis jersey.

Somebody, I think my brother, told me the kid had my jersey a while before the picture came out. I actually saw the kid when we were warming up one day before the picture came out. He was on the sideline and he was giving me high fives all the time, but I didn’t realize it was that kid. His dad was there too, to take a picture, me with him. That would have been real fun to take that picture. We didn’t because I didn’t realize it was that kid and I was warming up. We’ve got to make it happen now. I told my brother whenever he sees that kid he’s got to bring him to the sideline so we can take a picture.

I will joke around with him a little bit, but not too hard. He’s still a kid. What would I say to him? I would ask if it was him who was crying at the draft and why was he crying. To hear the explanation from the kid, that would be funny.

I remember the reaction from fans on Draft Night. It still sits inside of me a little bit. But I wasn’t bothered by it then and now I’m bothered even less. They’re cheering for me now obviously and that’s good. I was able to turn those boos into cheers. But it was more because they didn’t know me, they didn’t know my game, they didn’t know I really loved New York and that was the place I wanted to be. For me to turn them around was not so hard. I just played my game, had a few good games and I think for the most part they kind of fell in love with me a little bit.

I didn’t know how fast it was going to happen until I won them over. But that’s the New York crowd. One moment they’re booing you and you’re not playing well, the next you’re playing well and they love you. That’s how they are. Now they’re cheering for me and they’re happy, but in a month if I’m playing bad or whatever is happening they might boo me again. It’s day-by-day with some fans. It’s day-by-day.

Part of winning them over is my personality and the fact that I know English. But at the end of the day, if I didn’t play well and I wasn’t playing at this level, they wouldn’t respect me the way they do now. They realize that I can play a little bit. That’s what really made them believe.

I’m just being myself basically. I’m not trying too hard. I’m just being myself and if they love it, good, and if they don’t love it, well I’m just going to be myself and the way I am. I’m not going to change or be fake to win over the fans.

There are a lot of Knicks fans in every city. Everywhere we go. I think a lot of people are recognizing me even when I’m on the road. I was the guy everybody was talking about before the draft that nobody knew. I think a lot of people know me because of that, because of the draft. And now that I’m playing well, they kind of got to know me a little more. I can feel it a little bit on the road, that they recognize me a little bit.

But there’s no better place to become a great player and become a great team than New York.