Knicks star F Kristaps Porzingis doesn't want to hear anything about his team tanking.
When fans see that their team is in a rebuilding stage, they want to see them tank to secure a top draft pick. However, this isn't the case for the Knicks accoring to their front office. General manager Scott Perry told the media on Saturday that there won't be any tanking for the Knicks as it looks to rebuild its franchise.
Instead, Perry wants to see this team make the playoffs, and play in meaningful games. That is how he believes this team will mature and get better.
"I don't think that's healthy for any culture," Perry told The Post's Marc Berman. "I think if you try to institutionalize losing, that's hard to get out of your building."
Perry's star player agrees that tanking isn't the solution. Porzingis is still waiting to see the playoffs in his third NBA season, and Perry and Mills are both aware that the team needs to improve if they want to give him a contract extension after the season. Tanking isn't the mindset of the 7-foot-3 Latvian, and it won't be as his goal has been set since he entered the league.
"I don't believe in it either," Porzingis said. "Every season you have to go with the expectations of making the playoffs. That's the way to get better. If you do make the playoffs, that experience, you can't change for nothing. Every player should as soon as you start you career. The sooner you get that, the more you're prepared for the future. I'm really looking forward to making the playoffs.''
So far, the Knicks have exceeded expectations as they were slated to be one of the worst teams in the league. They may be at .500 (13-13), but they are still in the early hunt, currently holding the final eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
"Fans were guessing we'd be worse than we are now,'' Porzingis told The Post. "The way we're playing, it's something achievable.''
Head coach Jeff Hornacek is on board as well. He is looking to win every game, not just give players a chance to prove themselves every night.
"We're always looking to win the game,'' Hornacek said. "Sometimes you want to give guys looks and opportunities, but that's from practice where they earned it. It's a little bit of a fine balance but ultimately we're trying to win games and putting out guys who might give it to us.''
If the Knicks wish to make the playoffs, they're going to need Porzingis to lead the team, especially with Tim Hardaway Jr. out indefinitely with a stress injury in his left leg. He currently ranks eighth in the league with 25.5 points per game while also totaling 6.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.