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Knicks Links: Kristaps Porzingis is turning into Ivan Drago

Also: Mike Crispino is out as the Knicks’ radio announcer and K-Mart sounds off on Phil again

Liepaja Olympic Center

Greetings, Earthlings!

I’m happy that you managed to find this post through the terrible, horrible, basically the same but a little more boxy Posting and Toasting layout. I’ll try to make you forget the pain of navigating through this abyss with some cool tunes and some cool links.

There was a pretty lively discussion about Kanye West’s music in the comments yesterday, so here’s a little Kanye to listen to while you read:

So what’s the haps with the Knickerbockers?

— Kristaps Porzingis continues to train for his three-way rumble with Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor next season by boxing with undefeated 22-0 WBC Cruiserweight Champion (and Latvia native) Mairis Briedis.

The good folks at the Liepaja Olympic Center took some shots of KP training, and Marc Berman of the New York Post wrote about it. Never change, Marc:

It would’ve been more appropriate if his opponent were wearing a Phil Jackson mask, but Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis has made good on his promise to take up boxing this offseason.

Maybe I’m just seeing what I want to see, but it does certainly seem like Porzingis is looking a little more cut, and maybe like he put on a little much-needed weight. I just hope he shifts gears to basketball in the next few weeks.

— The Knicks decided not to renew the contract of longtime play-by-play radio announcer Mike Crispino. Crispino had called Knicks game from 2009-11, and then from 2013 until now. I don’t listen on the radio all that often, but when I did, Crispino seemed to do a pretty good job. Hopefully he’ll find a soft landing somewhere else.

“We would like to thank Mike for all his contributions to MSG Networks and wish him well going forward,’’ the Garden said in a statement.

— Kenyon Martin spoke out against Phil Jackson again, this time on TuneIn Radio’s “Two Man Weave” podcast with actor Michael Rapaport:

“The triangle is not going to run in this NBA, I don’t care who you have on the floor,” Martin said on the “Two Man Weave” podcast, available on TuneIn. “This is not your Bulls, this not Kobe and Shaq’s Lakers. This is the 2017 NBA, and that style of basketball is not going to go.”

— Ian Begley of ESPN reports that the Knicks are targeting “players like Courtney Lee” this offseason. Some names mentioned: PJ Tucker, Dante Cunningham, Jonathan Simmons and Ricky Rubio. He also mentioned that the Knicks would like to retain Justin Holiday.

That all sounds nice, although I do question the fit of Tucker or Cunningham on a team that seems to be trending towards rebuilding.

— Former Knicks assistant GM Hal Childs died at age 84. Hal was the assistant GM of the Knicks during the formative years of the bruising ’90s team, 1987-91. I wasn’t terribly familiar with him, but still, RIP Hal. OAKAAK.

— Frank Ntilikina, the French point guard who will likely be on the board when the Knicks pick eighth in the Draft, is currently in the playoffs with Strasbourg, his French league team. The results have been lukewarm:

In Wednesday night’s playoff game in France, the 6-foot-5 Ntilikina came off the bench to play 22 minutes, scoring four points with four rebounds and three assists as his Strasbourg club evened the best-of-three first-round series with a 83-68 victory over Pau-Orthez.

The deciding Game 3 is Friday. Ntilikina, who turns 19 this summer, didn’t play well in the playoff opener, in which Strasbourg lost in overtime. In 18 minutes, he shot 0-for-4 with one point, zero assists and three fouls.

— Stefan Bondy of the NY Daily News, normally a Knicks beat reporter, got the scoop that Purdue F/C Caleb Swanigan decided to keep his name in the Draft. This is significant to the Knicks, as they worked him out yesterday and talked to him at the NBA Draft Combine. He could presumably be on the board for one of the Knicks’ two second round picks.

— In “damn it damn it damn it damn it DAMN IT” news, Bondy also has heard the Sixers could be taking an interest in De’Aaron Fox or Dennis Smith, Jr. with the No. 3 pick:

Not cool, guys. We want those dudes.

— Kevin Seraphin is a non-learner:

— And I leave you today with Ian Begley giving a clap-back to a Twitter heckler: