I’m on the eve of the end of my tenure with the New York Knicks, but I can’t help but be surprised by the reaction to my return to the New Orleans Pelicans.
This is what I’m up against: The first thing you need to understand is that I’m not leaving the Knicks because of my own shortcomings.
I’m leaving the franchise because I think that they need a change.
I think the Knicks have a very strong core of players who are willing to take more risks.
I don’t think this team is a title contender.
I do think this is a team that needs to get better, and I think we need to go out and try to get some wins.
The most important thing to me is winning games.
I understand why the Knicks feel that way.
There’s a lot of frustration in the fanbase, and the players feel the same.
They’re going to have to deal with it.
But there’s a sense of ownership that they’re a good team, and they’re trying to win.
The players feel that, too.
The coaches, the ownership.
All of it is about winning.
They all need to be more assertive, and that’s what I hope to do.
The Knicks won a championship in 2017-18.
But it’s time for a change, and it’s the right time to go.
I want to go to a team with a proven playoff pedigree.
I’ve seen it all before, and a lot has happened over the last four or five years.
That’s the way I want this franchise to end.
I have faith in this organization, and my faith is rooted in my love for the game of basketball.
I know this is not a perfect fit.
I just want to be here, and this is where I’m at right now.
It will be a change for me, and, ultimately, for the organization.
I need to get back to my family.
I miss them so much, and everything I’ve done here, I know they’re not happy.
But that’s my family, and now it’s my time to take care of them.
I can do that.
But right now, I’m here for a reason.
I love New Orleans.
It’s a beautiful city.
I spent time here during the lockout, and just the way the people are, it’s a great city.
It had the perfect atmosphere, and you could have a nice dinner there.
And that’s the kind of city we’re going back to.
I will say this, though: I love the fans.
I got to say this: I was a fan of the New England Patriots.
I was in the crowd on Sunday when they scored the game-winning touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons.
And, I remember sitting there, with the fans, watching the Patriots in the building.
The people that we’re talking about are passionate and loud, and we love that.
I’ll miss those fans, and those Patriots.
That was my favorite part of the lockout.
I had a chance to watch the Patriots at home on Thanksgiving Day.
It was the first time in my life that I saw them in the flesh.
And I remember being so excited.
I wanted to get out there and see the players and see what they were doing.
And then the next day, we lost to the Miami Dolphins.
The fans, I felt, were the ones that were hurting.
They didn’t want to see us lose to the Dolphins.
They were hurting, because they knew how much we loved the Patriots, and how much they loved the city.
And it’s really hard to leave, and to miss those people, when they’re so passionate about their team.
But I’m excited to be back in this city.
So I just hope to be out there for a long time.