GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Kristaps Porzingis says his hip is on the mend and his psyche was never wounded.
Porzingis, who hurt his right hip in an ugly loss to the Nets on Sunday, said he is hopeful that he will be able to play Friday against Washington in the Knicks’ final preseason game. Porzingis also shrugged off negative comments MSG broadcasters Alan Hahn and Wally Szczerbiak made about him when they were caught on a hot microphone after the first half of the Nets loss.
“I’m not worried about that,” Porzingis said of the comments. “We had a terrible first half. I’m not worried about my game in particular because we have to get better as a team. Talking about what Alan said, I haven’t heard it honestly yet. I don’t think it’s a big deal.”
Porzingis said he hadn’t even been aware of the comments until a team media relations person told him about it after practice on Wednesday. The two broadcasters had been taking Porzingis to task after an ugly first half in which he had six points, three blocks and was a minus-20.
“The other thing you could do is just kill Porzingis for being minus-20 in 16 minutes,” said Hahn, a former Newsday sports reporter, in audio that was posted to Twitter by @LifeAsKorleone. Szczerbiak agreed with him before Hahn continued. “Dude, like come on, man, you’re a star. This is what you’re doing. You’re just out there? . . . A lot to learn.”
Hahn addressed the incident in an email to Newsday on Wednesday.
“KP is a great player and he knows me well enough to know that I only want to see him succeed,” Hahn said.
Porzingis didn’t play in the second half of the Nets game and missed Monday night’s 117-95 loss to the Rockets. The 7-3 face of the Knicks said he wants to see how he feels on Thursday before making a decision about the Washington game.
“I’m like a lizard,” he said. “I heal quickly.”
Notes & quotes: The Knicks signed Utah point guard Trey Burke to a non-guaranteed contract on Wednesday. Burke is expected to compete with veteran Jarrett Jack to fill the 16th roster spot the Knicks get for the first 12 games. The team has been granted that extra roster spot while Joakim Noah serves a 12-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy . . . Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said the Knicks big-man rotation is still being formulated. Willy Hernangomez, Enes Kanter, Kyle O’Quinn and Noah are all jockeying for minutes. Said Hornacek: “You can’t play all four guys. So who’s going to step up there and take the reins and make the coaches say ‘I can’t take that guy off the floor?’ That battle is going on with those guys. Guys who play good defense, roll to the basket every time and play unselfishly will end up with the minutes.”