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Knicks Bulletin: Losing at Dallas, Mitch’s return, shorthanded Grizzlies...

Straight outta sources.

New York Knicks v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

The New York Knicks lost the first game of the OG Era on Thursday, falling 128-124 to the Dallas Mavericks. Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson returned to the Lone Star State, Luka Doncic missed the game, Tom Thibodeau was a bit lost, and Kyrie Irving dumped more than a few buckets.

After the game was over and leading up to Saturday’s matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies, many Knickerbockers as well as a certain former legend of NYK lore shared some quotable statements.

Here’s what they had to say.

Jalen Brunson

(On getting called for a technical foul in the second quarter of the game against Dallas...)

“I love to keep my money, so I’m going to keep my money. It’s tough. I can’t be in that mindset of letting things frustrate me, whether it’s anything that’s going on in the game. I got to be better. And we got to be ready from the start of the game, and that’s on me.”

(On returning to Dallas to face his former franchise on Texan soil...)

“That place meant a lot to me, it means a lot to me.”

(On the Mavericks drafting and developing him for his first professional years of play...)

“My first four years [in the NBA], they introduced me to the league, they gave me my chance, they built me up. The organization and those guys over there, they mean a lot to me.”

(On his links to Dallas and the Mavs...)

“At some point when I’m done playing basketball I’ll look back and think about the evolution of how I became a basketball player. I’m definitely thankful for them and what they did for my career.”

“This place means a lot to me. The fans were great to me, the organization is great. They had my back. There were definitely ups and downs and stuff like that. But they always had my back. This team and this city gets around its sports teams. They have a great fan base and I’m very thankful for the time I was here.”

(On his present as the face of the New York Knicks...)

“I love where I’m at. This city, this organization has brought me in. And It’s meant the world to me. And it’s honestly been a dream come true. I just want to get better every single day and keep working on my game. It’s been nothing but amazing.”

(On the potential return of Mitchell Robinson before the playoffs...)

“It’s very important. He’s a huge part of what we do. I think him being healthy, a hundred percent healthy is a really big thing for us when he comes back. Not to rush back. But that’s definitely exciting news.”

Julius Randle

(On the New York Knicks‘ comeback in the third and fourth quarters against Dallas...)

“We just shut up and played. To be completely honest, stopped worrying about the officials, what we were getting and not getting. Just shut up and play basketball. That’s what we did. When we do that, we’re pretty good.”

(On taking the L and dealing with it...)

“The quicker we let go of this one, quicker we can focus on the next one. Self-correct what we did today. Evaluate it, but got to move on.”

Isaiah Hartenstein

(On Brunson’s comments about JB’s return to Dallas...)

“I mean, he got a new haircut so he might be trying to look good for the people in Dallas.”

“I know it’s always something special. Last time we were here I don’t think he played. I think it’s something special. He was here for a long time.”

(On what it means to play at a place that one called home once before in their career...)

“I always think—me even going back to the Clippers and Rockets, it’s still special to this day.”

(On the optimism regarding Mitchell Robinson’s early comeback...)

“I’m excited for him. The process is not easy, any injury—especially for that long, is always hard. But having the hope that at the end of the season, he can come back and still contribute to a team is big for him.”

”We’re excited that it’s moving forward like that. We just want to keep supporting him through the process and make sure when he comes back it’s right and we’re not forcing him.”

“He wants to come back before the season ends, but you never know with injuries like that, if there’s a setback, if it goes better than expected. So that’s kind of where he was at. I think it’s something good for him, a point where he can strive to. So I’m excited for him. I think it’s going to help him be more optimistic about the whole situation.”

Tom Thibodeau

(On the referees and their calls on Thursday at Dallas...)

“Hey, look, I don’t really care if the game was called tight or it was called loosely. I just want consistency. So there was some frustration there, but that’s all part of it. We’ve got to handle that.”

(On Mitchell Robinson’s return before the regular season is over...)

“To me, you take the information you have and you deal with it accordingly. As we mentioned earlier, after he had the surgery we knew we had to wait eight to 10 weeks to get more information and so we’re about halfway there now. Once we get to that point we’ll have more information and we’ll have a clearer plan.”

Donte DiVincenzo

(On losing against Dallas after starting slow and falling behind early...)

“Recently we’ve been hitting teams in the mouth first and just running away with it. I think this was our first test of adversity as this new group together. I think we responded well in the fourth quarter. You take the good and learn from that as well.”

“I think we just got hit first in the mouth tonight and they just kept going. In the NBA, when teams start to feel good about themselves, you know something’s coming. I think it’s a humbling game for us, but I know the team we have, everybody is going to respond and be ready to go on Saturday.”

(On facing a shorthanded Memphis Grizzlies team on Saturday...)

“We have to be ready on Saturday. It doesn’t matter if Ja’s out or not. They’re playing really well. And they’re going to play hard.”

“Thibs is going to have us ready. I think our effort to start the game will be better.”

Carmelo Anthony

(On Tom Thibodeau’s style of play leading to winning playoff games...)

“I think [the Knicks] can [make the Conference Finals]. Not many teams [are] structured that way, like, to stop you first.”

“They are created and built to stop the other team—like defense first. The only thing that comes down to that is no matter how great your defense is, the offense always outweighs. The game is about a bucket, so you could play all the defense that you want in the world… You got to score to win the game… Defense is just to control the game and possessions, you know what I mean? Like, let’s win every possession. So you got to lock down, you got to lock in, you got to focus. It’s more team defense in the postseason.”

(On RJ Barrett’s career and legacy as a New York Knicks player...)

“He’s just a bland player, bro. That’s not a shot. That’s not disrespect. I ask a lot of people who are Knicks fans to see what they say, it’s just like, ‘He’s good, he gets it done sometimes, but he’s not an exciting player.’ You don’t know if he’s going to get four (points) or 26.”

(On new Knick OG Anunoby and his impact on the team compared to RJ’s...)

“OG is doing the same thing RJ doing. He just don’t demand it the way that RJ demanded to be a part of the offense. Like, OG is cool sitting on the wing and moving around and cutting and waiting for somebody to swing into him and knock down a three. He still is going to play defense no matter what.”

(On RJ Barrett getting frustrated in New York and thinking about leaving the Knicks...)

“You’re (scoring) 20, 22, 24, and that’s as the third option on that team. So now you feel like, ‘I’m putting up 24, I’m the third option. I’m not really getting it. ‘Alright man, I got to go.’ He was probably feeling that—like, ‘I’m ready to go.’ I’m sure he was questioning it.”