Mario Hezonja is trying to gel with his teammates
New York Knicks’ forward Mario Hezonja didn’t look very good during the preseason after signing as a free agent this past summer.
You would think that Hezonja would have played great given the fact that he’s out to prove the Orlando Magic wrong for letting him walk as a free agent, but he has a good reason for his lackluster preseason.
“It’s not about me trying to show off immediately and do some crazy stuff,” Hezonja told the NY Post. “I’m being overly patient, trying to play for my teammates, trying to see who I fit with. It’s a new kind of team. I don’t want to be an a–hole to anybody. I’m just trying to figure out my own team. I know I can hold myself up easily. I was trying figure out the environment.”
Hezonja didn’t want to be selfish with his new teammates and I honestly can’t knock him for that.
“It’s exactly where my mindset was,” Hezonja said. “I wasn’t like: ‘Here, guys, this is me and I’m going to show you who I am.’ I feel we have great people in the locker room who hang out off the court. I don’t want to be bad chemistry. We’re all friends and the veterans are trying to help me.”
Hezonja averaged eight points, one assist, 2.2 turnovers during 20 minutes of play during the preseason for the Knicks. He did connect on 42.4 percent of his shots, which isn’t too bad.
Right now, Knicks’ head coach David Fizdale is going with Lance Thomas as his starting power forward, citing his leadership, which makes sense for now.
I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point during the season Hezonja gets a chance to start given the fact that he’s younger and there is always a chance he can break out with the Knicks and give them a reason to sign him to a long-term deal.
Now, I wouldn’t count on the Knicks bringing Hezonja back after this season due to the fact that they need their cap space for a guy like Kevin Durant. But he’s a former lottery pick that hasn’t been given a fair chance yet to shine in the NBA.
Paul has been a professional writer since 2010 and covered the NFL for several years as a credentialed media member. Some of his work has been linked to companies like FOX Sports, MSN, ESPN, Rolling Stone, Forbes and Deadspin. He’s also appeared on sports talk radio shows from around the United States.