Kristaps Porzingis returned to the franchise he called home for the first four years on Friday night. The Washington Wizards came to Madison Square Garden to play the New York Knicks for the first time since acquiring the do-it-all unicorn at the NBA Trade Deadline.
Knicks fans welcomed the power forward back by booing him as he returned to a city and arena he once called home from 2015-19.
"It is what it is; it's in the past. I love [New York], I miss this city a lot. I miss a lot of people here," Porzingis said postgame. "It is what it is, I really enjoyed my time here and I only have good memories of this building."
After the game, Porzingis - who posted 18 points - was asked about returning to the arena that many consider the mecca of basketball.
"I enjoy this; I enjoy playing at MSG, whether it was at home before or now on the road," Porzingis said. "It's always at end, the biggest stage."
Randle wasn't teammates with Porzingis during his time with the Knicks, but the media did ask the power forward if he's surprised that New York fans are still booing Porzingis three years after the trade. The 27-year-old had a simple response, "It's The Garden."
Porzingis was drafted fourth overall in the 2015 NBA draft by New York. In 2019, the Knicks dealt the Latvian to the Dallas Mavericks.
This season, the Washington Wizards acquired the 26-year-old at the NBA Trade Deadline, marking his third team in four seasons.