It was an indelible image from the night in 2015 when Kristaps Porzingis was drafted: A young New York Knicks fan and his father booing with fellow die-hards over the franchise selecting the Latvian big man fourth overall.
That was Jordan, who became known as the Crying Knicks fan (full disclosure: He and his family are neighbors and friends of mine). But on Thursday, 13-year-old Jordan had mixed feelings about the deal that sent Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks in a trade that would eventually lead to the team getting the cap room needed to potentially acquire multiple marquee free agents this summer.
“It’s not like we got nothing in return,” Jordan told For The Win on Thursday, nearly four years after his viral moment. “It gives us a lot of room to sign free agents. We got Dennis Smith. I don’t think it’s that bad of a trade.”
“It’s really sad for a guy like Porzingis to go,” he continued. “A guy that we’ve drafted and expected to be ours for the next 15 years … it’s sad to just let him go.”
There were no tears from Jordan this time, although he said the news is still sinking in. He was with friends after a half-day at school when the flurry of news — first that Porzingis was unhappy, followed minutes later by the blockbuster deal — hit. Jordan reacted on social media immediately with a tribute:
He’s still as confused and upset as other fans about why Porzingis would suddenly decide he was unhappy now.
“We had a lot of trust in him and I guess he got a little too impatient,” he said. “We’ll see what he does on the Mavericks and if he’s the same player he was.”
And when Porzingis does return to Madison Square Garden, he probably won’t give the forward a standing ovation, but he won’t boo the Maverick either. Jordan has met the big man a few times since booing the selection on draft night, including getting a shot blocked at Porzingis’s basketball camp.
“I’d wish him good luck,” Jordan said when asked what he’d want to say to Porzingis. “Hopefully, he gets better (from his ACL tear).”
Now, like the rest of the fanbase, the focus is on the possibility of winning the NBA Draft lottery and the potential to get Duke forward Zion Williamson, along with what the Knicks do with that heaping amount of cap space.
“We just have to move on and keep on going,” he said. “Hopefully, we have a good team next year.”
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Jordan the Crying Knicks fan tells us how he feels about the shocking trade.