There was a brief time when good friends Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez pictured a future in which the two European big men would lead a resurgence for the Knicks, but Hernangomez was traded away last season. If he had his way, the two would reunite — but not in New York.
Before Sunday night’s game at the Garden, Hernangomez — who scored three points in four minutes in the Hornets’ 119-107 victory over the Knicks — discussed his friendship with Porzingis and their time spent together over the summer in Madrid. “I miss KP,’’ he said. “Now my job is to maybe get him here for the Hornets.”
Hernangomez laughed afterward, knowing that it is unlikely — even though he said he is very happy with where he is and how the Hornets have treated him.
For now, what he really would like is to see his friend heal completely and get back to the level he was headed toward before suffering a torn ACL.
“I think KP is doing right now the best thing he can do, being patient,” Hernangomez said. “His friends and the people who really love him, we try to give him the best advice. It makes no sense to rush his recovery and try to force playing.
“I think once he feels safe or he feels strong, he feels like he’s back, then he will be back. I’m sure he will be better than ever. He’s very anxious to play. He really wants to play bad. But he’s got to be smart, take his time, and once he feels good, he will be a beast again.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. I think it’s a process. Like I said, when he feels good and feels ready and the team thinks they are ready for him to play again, then he will be back, but at this point, it makes no sense to force him to get back.”