Hall of Famer and current TNT analyst Charles Barkley told New York not to give up on the Knicks just yet.
While speaking at the All-Star weekend festivities, Barkley said he understands why Knicks might be frustrated after consecutive losing seasons, and the team's recent skid. But he believes the front office is building up the team in the right direction.
For example, making Kristaps Porzingis the franchise player was the right move in Barkley's eyes. And despite being upset over his ACL injury, Barkley thinks it could help the Knicks in the long run.
"He was on the right track to being a helluva player," Barkley said on TNT. "It's really unfortunate. They had done a good job. I like the (Frank) Ntilikina guy. (Tim) Hardaway Jr. was playing well. I still love the (Enes) Kanter deal.
"The Knicks are going to get better. The problem with you people in New York is you all have zero patience. If you keep drafting and adding players, sooner or later, you're going to have a good team. But they never have patience in New York."
But Knicks fans do have reason to be impatient. The last time a title was hoisted at MSG was 1973, and after five straight seasons of not making the playoffs, one has to wonder how much patient could a fan be.
Barkley, though, is confident the team is going to be winning soon.
"It will probably be good for the Knicks in the long run," Barkley said. 'Because you're all in a position of getting ping-pong balls. Hypothetically, if you did make the playoffs this year and you're eighth seed, you're going to lose in the first round. Now you're going to get another lottery pick. I don't understand why everyone is so impatient. I think the Knicks are building toward a future."
As for Porzingis, Barkley believes he can still be the franchise player fans are hoping him to be despite his injury-prone body. He was supposed to play in the All-Star Game this weekend, but now he is worrying about getting back to the court before the end of 2018.
"When a guy's 22, I don't think you're going to notice he had an ACL in a couple of years," Barkley said. "The way you can work on these guys today and him being so young...If he was 35, I'd be concerned. I got more hope for him than [DeMarcus] Cousins. That injury Boogie got is devastating. I don't mean to be morbid but I think he'd rather tear an ACL than an Achilles.
"Twenty two years old, he hasn't even filled out yet. I'd like to see him play more in the post. I've said the same thing about Joel Embiid. I think he floats out to the 3-point line too much. The kid still has to gain another 10, 15 pounds. He will filling out naturally. I don't want to put too much pressure on a 22-year-old kid."