Last July, after Phil Jackson’s firing, it was evident the Knicks had a new developmental philosophy: making the lottery wouldn’t be the worst predicament.
“Plummet for Porter” was to be the unofficial motto. Incoming Missouri freshman small forward Michael Porter Jr. was touted as the potential No. 1 pick in the draft.
And despite an injury-marred season in which he played just three games because of serious back woes, the cocky Porter isn’t deterred. He still thinks he should be the top pick. He interviewed with the Knicks, who have the ninth pick, on Wednesday, so he knows that’s not happening.
“They had me as the No. 1 player in high school, but I didn’t even feel I was 100 percent,” Porter said Thursday. “And I do now. So now I’m excited to show everybody the player that I am, that I’m still the best player. I know without a doubt — I’ve played against all these guys — but I’m the best player in this draft. I just can’t wait to show what I’m capable of.
“Everybody will realize that soon.”
Knicks executives believe if his medicals at the combine raise any red flags regarding his back, Porter could slip — even as far as nine.
And the Knicks want a small forward.
“I loved meeting with them,’’ Porter said. “They knew everything about me. It was cool meeting with those guys.”
Porter said he hit it off with David Fizdale.
“Awesome guy,’’ Porter said of the Knicks’ new coach. “I really enjoyed talking to him. He was a real easy guy to talk to. And I just vibed with him real well.”
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