Porzingis: Anthony deserves warm welcome at Madison Square Garden

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In an interview with FIBA.basketball, New York Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis says he is planning to feature in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers for his home country of Latvia next summer.

Anthony and the Thunder haven't played up to expectations in the first two months of the season. "I've embraced New York City, I embraced the culture, embraced everything about the city, so yeah, definitely". But the player who has succeeded Anthony as the franchise guy, Kristaps Porzingis, thinks the fans should receive 'Melo with love. He is listed as day-to-day with knee soreness and is questionable for the matchup.

Porzingis told reporters on Thursday he had left the game after his knee began to feel unstable.

According to Begley and Wojnarowski, Porzingis' discomfort decreased as the knee was "worked on" Friday. "I'm actually looking forward to just being back in there, playing in front of family, friends". Like I said, I got a different feeling with NY. "I had a little shock pain there, and that's it".

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If Porzingis is out for Saturday's game against Oklahoma City - which is Anthony's first game at Madison Square Garden since he was traded by the Knicks in September - it would leave a significant void for NY.

"I think he was as professional as he can be in his time here in NY, so I don't see why they would not receive him with love", Porzingis was quoted as saying by ESPN on Friday. But after Anthony left NY, the Knicks' start to the season has surpassed that of most experts, storming to top eight in eastern conference.

"For the most part what I like about it, guys are trying to figure it out", he said earlier this week. "But you never know".

One of those answers in NY, of course, might be "Phil Jackson" if you asked both Anthony and Porzingis, but that's neither here nor there. The 22-year-old is averaging 25.5 points (a career high), 6.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. "It'll be fun to win back in the Garden now that I'm on another team and knowing the things we're trying to do and what we're trying to create and where we're trying to go as a team". I spent a lot of time there - nearly seven years. "He knows the rims, knows the court, knows everything very well", said Hardaway, who is now sidelined with a stress injury in his left leg. He tried to help the team win whether it was the style some fans want or didn't want but he competed night in and night out.

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