From afar, Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis appear to have a wonderful mentor/mentee relationship. They've become so close, in fact, that they are beginning to sound like one another.
Porzingis was asked point-blank after Monday's practice whether he has run up against the dreaded "rookie wall" following a tough road trip. Kristaps's answer: What the hell is a rookie wall?"
"I don't think so. A couple of bad games, it happens to all of us. Not only rookies. Im just looking forward to the next game. I dont really know what a rookie wall is."
Now compare that to Melo's response to the same question, in regards to his rookie teammate:
I hope he's not thinking he hit a wall just because of a couple off days. There's no such thing as a wall.
He takes it one step further -- not only are there no rookie walls, there are no walls, period. His house is held up by "sideways floors."
Melo knows how tough this league can be -- hell, many fans were calling him washed before his 37-point effort Saturday in Portland -- but he has faith in young Kristaps.
The more work he puts in, the more production he gives out there on the court, the more attention he will get. That just comes with the game. He's gotta be prepared for that; we gotta be prepared for that. It's nothing that he's not gonna see. A couple off days -- a couple of off games -- I mean, we all have them. He'll be alright. I've been y'all that from the beginning: he'll be alright.
Just tremendous interview synergy shown here by the Knicks' two stars. For all the Knicks' problems of late, the Melo/Kristaps partnership is still on solid footing. Now if we can only get both of them playing well at the same time.