It’s that time of year again, folks. NBA season is officially underway in New York City as both the Knicks and the Nets held their respective media days today. Of course, the focus was on the Knicks given their transformation this past off-season – only Carmelo Anthony remains from the team that president Phil Jackson inherited in 2014 – and most observers feel that team will be better than the 17-65 team from last season. But how much better?
Below are some of the best of the quotes from players from today’s session. Tell us how many games you think the Knicks will win in season 2015-16?
On mentoring rookie Kristaps Porzingis
“I kind of feel bad for him because there’s so much pressure on him at this point and this guy hasn’t played not even one minute in the NBA. I’m going to try to be a big brother to him and kind of take the pressure off of him a little bit.
“It’s something that he never experienced before … so this is new to him. To be a newcomer to this game, to this league, in New York, that’s tough. I don’t know if he knows what he’s about to get himself into, so I kind of have to be that wall for him.”
On the Knicks’ chances this season
“My window is open, I don’t think it’s closing. For the most part, coming into this year, we get a chance to write our own destiny this year. … I think guys are excited about that,to have a chance to start off fresh and kind of put the past behind us and move forward.”
On what position he thinks he’ll play this season
“I’m pretty sure I’ll be at the 4 this season.”
On coming to play for the Knicks
“I love that I am going to have my family out here,” Lopez said. “I love that I am going to have my Mom out here. The only downside is that I am going to have to see Brook more often.”
On Phil Jackson’s influence during 2015-16
“Anytime we get any chance to learn from somebody like that, with such a wealth, such a vast influence of knowledge, that is a good thing. Phil Jackson, good thing.”
On his relationship with Carmelo Anthony
“Me and Melo, we’re great. I’m trying to learn as much as I can from him, asking him questions. For me to be around him all day long is great. I’m just trying to get as much information as I can.”
On what expectations he has for himself playing in the NBA
“All that I know is that I’ve played against the [Knicks] guys, pickup games, 5 on 5, that’s how I can rate myself. But now that training camp has started, the real deal is here.”
Sasha Vujacic responding to a question about Maria Sharapova
On what it takes to build a winner in New York
“It takes time. A lot of times, people think things can get done overnight or a short period of time, which is not true. To build something great, you need patience and need time to do it the right way. I think with the team that we have right now and the direction this team is going, I feel special to be a part of it. I have been a part of that before, similar rebuilding. I am excited for what is ahead.”
Feature image via: @NY_KnicksPR