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Knicks Notes, 9/22/19: Bobby Portis gives back to the community

Also: Dennis Smith Jr. wants to help RJ Barrett win ROY.

2019 WNBA Playoffs - Phoenix Mercury v Chicago Sky Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

With the opening of training camp rapidly approaching, let’s check in on our New York Knicks, shall we?

We begin with reserve big man Bobby Portis. Though the Knicks signed him for his rebounding and three-point shooting, Portis is probably best known for punching then-teammate Nikola Mirotic during practice a few years back. But there’s much more to Portis than that, as shown in this video produced by Close Up 360.

Here we see Portis, proud native of Little Rock, Arkansas, giving back to his community by starting a foundation to support single mothers. Former Bulls teammates Zach Lavine and Wendell Carter Jr. also speak up for Portis as a mentor. That’s good to hear, given the large number of youngsters on the Knicks.

Speaking of mentoring, Dennis Smith Jr. has an interesting goal for the upcoming season: The point guard wants to help newcomer RJ Barrett win Rookie of the Year.

“I’m treating that as one of my focal points just to help him win Rookie of the Year. And whatever I can do, I’m willing to do it. It’s important for us and it’s important for our team and it’s important for our morale moving forward, so I think it would be major if he won that.”

Here’s the rest of the DSJ interview.

Obviously Smith would be a major part of any successful Barrett ROY campaign. And an effective Barrett would go a long way toward helping the Knicks not suck this season. I’m on board!