Boston Celtics

Knicks aim to change perception to lure free agents

The goals in a rebuilding season are now to put on a good show — particularly on nights like Thursday when they faced off against the Celtics and a potential free-agent target in Kyrie Irving before a national television audience.

Two weeks earlier the Knicks came to Boston and beat the Celtics, showing Irving a hint of what could be for a franchise early into this latest incarnation of a rebuild.

Entering the game with an 8-17 record and Kristaps Porzingis' rehabilitation still a mystery that the team would not speculate on, opportunities like this are the best shot the Knicks have to convince targets for the coming free-agent market that these are different times.

Now the sales pitch is that with general manager Scott Perry, team president Steve Mills and first-year coach David Fizdale the franchise is now a worthy destination.

That doesn’t produce wins, but the Knicks hope that someone — Irving or Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard or Kemba Walker — considers them a process worth trusting.

And they’ve gone through a lot of different staffs and coaches and things like that so they can tell me, ‘Hey, this is where we fell short before, this is where we’re pretty good.’ Because there’s some stuff that was good in the building and I don’t want to change that.

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