Add former Knicks coach and current ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy to the long and growing list of Kristaps Porzingis fans among those who follow the NBA.
“I love Porzingis,” Van Gundy said on Tuesday — his 54th birthday — on a conference call to promote the new Saturday night slate of NBA on ABC games that premieres this weekend.
Asked about the Knicks rookie’s game, about whether he will hold up physically and about whether the Knicks will make the playoffs, Van Gundy said:
“I love everything about how he’s handled his situation. Love his game, love his mental makeup. I know he had the game last night where he didn’t finish because of a foot injury. I hope he’s all right.
“Listen, with men of great size you’re always concerned with lower-body-extremity issues. I’m hopeful that he has a career of great health, because he has given the New York Knicks fan reason to fall back in love with their team.
“If they had fallen out of love over the last decade or so, you can fall back in love now because this guy, along with Carmelo Anthony, gives you a chance to be competitive every night. I think they will make the playoffs. I think they’re a really good team.”