Kristaps Porzingis booed by Madison Square Garden crowd as he returns to face Knicks

In an ideal world, the Knicks would be near the top of the standings with two superstars in the lineup, exciting the fan base and providing a convincing told you so to Kristaps Porzingis as he arrived at Madison Square Garden Thursday night.

But this is reality and for the Knicks, reality means that Porzingis arrived with the team in just the sort of disarray that prompted him to sit down for a five-minute meeting on Jan. 30 and inform the Knicks’ front office executives that he wanted out — a trade request that team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry had just so happened to be working on for weeks and used this as the last straw to send him to Dallas.

And the fans’ reaction to Porzingis returning pales in comparison to the angst created by the franchise right now, hitting a new low that even for them seems oddly devoid of gravity.

When Porzingis finished up his pregame workout and headed toward the locker room he was greeted with hugs from familiar faces among the employees and as he walked to the tunnel fans flocked and not a disparaging word was uttered as he signed autographs and posed for photos.

Porzingis did request a trade, but his dissatisfaction was not for New York City, but for the dysfunction that has plagued the organization long before he arrived and has continued to haunt it after he departed.

For Porzingis, there is some rust after 20 months sidelined by a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but the Mavericks are still quickly grabbing attention as a rising team, bringing a 6-4 record into the matchup with the Knicks.

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