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Kristaps Porzingis: 'New vibe' around New York Knicks in post-Carmelo Anthony era

The Knicks find themselves a game or so out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, which is better than what most expected out of New York’s rebuilding crew. Kristaps Porzingis has taken over as the go-to guy for the Knicks after an offseason of turmoil that saw Carmelo Anthony traded to Oklahoma City and team president Phil Jackson taken out of his position.

In an interview with Ian Bagley of, Porzingis talked about how he has transitioned into his new role with the Knicks and the changing environment of the team so far:

Q: There are so many new faces here this season. No Phil Jackson, no Carmelo Anthony. What’s been different so far this year compared to the last two seasons?

A: I would say it’s a different vibe, a new vibe. A lot of new minds in new positions and a lot of new guys, players that want to play their best basketball that want to compete. … That’s what’s most important. We’re going out there and we’re playing hard, especially on the defensive end.

Q: We asked you a lot in the preseason what life would be like without Carmelo. Now that we’re several games into the season, what has it been like for you without Carmelo on the court?

A: It’s obviously different, you know. He was the main guy and he was the leader of the team. It’s much different. For me, obviously wanted him to stay around and to keep learning from him, but I’m happy for him that he took on a new challenge to go to OKC and I’ve been staying in contact with him and he’s saying he’s happy. It’s a different environment there, and for him I think it’s a good step in his career.

Q: What’s it been like so far to be the face of this franchise?

A: I’m just enjoying things right now, but my life is about basketball. I think about basketball pretty much all the time. Everything else doesn’t matter that much. I’m just looking to recover, so I can be fresh for the next one. That’s the only thing I think about. For me, I enjoy playing in this city, it’s the best city in the world. To me, it’s the best city in the world.

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