Kristaps Porzingis’ sudden season-ending injury this month caused mayhem and frustration throughout the Knicks’ fan base, with fans recognizing the team’s chances at making the postseason were now nonexistent.
But for Knicks general manager Scott Perry and the rest of the franchise, the team only has one thought in mind for the remainder of the season: Move forward.
“First what I would say is the injury to KP is a circumstance that’s under no one’s control,” Perry said, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley. “It’s part of the game, part of sports. It happened. What I would say to the fans is that it does not deter us from our plan of moving forward, building this team the right way, and continue to build and add to this roster over time. So it wasn’t going to be an overnight turnaround from the beginning.
“I would also add that we’re going to continue to add talent, we’re going to continue to make moves that are very prudent not only from a talent perspective, but managing the salary cap. We have a plan in place to get there. Not being from home, I hear what you’re saying from the fan base enduring a lot of tough years.”
The Knicks swung a deal on deadline day for Emmanuel Mudiay, with the team now sporting a young core of Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina and Kristaps Porzingis. Focusing on the development of Mudiay and Ntilikina rather than directing attention at an uncontrollable injury is imperative for the team.
“I’m excited and invigorated as ever that we’re going to be able to get where we want to get,” Scott Perry said. “We’ve got to just stay the course. We’re not going to try to do something short-term to jeopardize our opportunity to build a sustainable (team). That’s what I would say. That would be my message.
“And I think that in terms of players and free agents looking to the Knicks, moving forward in the future, because they’ll see how this team is coming together in terms of playing hard, trying to support one another, they sense it. They see where the culture is headed, where we’re going. And I think they’ll be players that will want to be a part of that. Players want to be a part of teams, they want to be a part of families where they’re being supported and cared for and developed and all those things. I feel very confident about that too, for us an organization moving into subsequent years.”
The Knicks currently rank 11th in the Eastern Conference at 23-33 and are in the midst of a five-game losing streak. Despite losing their best player and despite struggling on the court, the team remains focused on the future and present day rather than the past.