new york knicks kristaps porzingis
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 Kristaps Porzingis has been the target of plenty of backlash from New York Knicks fans since he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks.

New York Knicks fans largely felt betrayed by Kristaps Porzingis when he asked for a trade last season. The front office quickly obliged his request by sending him to the Dallas Mavericks and the rest is history.

Knicks fans have let Porzingis know exactly how they feel about the former franchise cornerstone via social media.

“It’s hard not to see it,” Porzingis said. “It is what it is. Everybody can say their opinion on social media and you don’t have to read it all if you don’t want to or you don’t have to pay attention to it. Sometimes I see it, sometimes I don’t look at it. It is what it is, you know? I understand where they’re coming from.”

Porzingis met his former team for the first time in Dallas this past Friday, one of the Knicks’ two wins this season. But that game was merely an appetizer for the main course: Thursday night in Madison Square Garden.

Despite all the hoopla surrounding the 2-9 Knicks, the main focus of Thursday’s game will surround the 7-foot-3 Latvian Knicks fans once adored. Despite some inconsistent play early on during his Mavs tenure, Porzingis is still displaying the same qualities that helped him earn the nickname “Unicorn.”

He’s averaging 2.4 blocks per game and 37.5% on threes this season. That rare combination of rim protection and outside shooting is what makes Porzingis such a unique player.

The one-time All-Star is coming off of his worst performance of the season, a four-point outing against the Boston Celtics, but no one will be surprised if he returns to his old stomping grounds to pound the Knicks.

In their first meeting, KP posted 28 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks despite the Knicks taking a thrilling victory on the back of Frank Ntilikina‘s stellar performance on both ends of the court.

The Knicks—and their fans—could use another win over Dallas to quell some of the tension in the building right now.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.