Former Knicks F Mario Hezonja says he regrets signing with team in 2018

New York Knicks forward Mario Hezonja (8) handles the ball while Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) defends during the third quarter at Toyota Center
Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Former New York Knicks F Mario Hezonja recently shared his thoughts about his underwhelming NBA career in a recent interview with Jutarnji List, a Croatian sports outlet. Hezonja also admitted that signing with the Knicks in 2018 was the wrong decision for his career.

Mario Hezonja feels regret about signing with Knicks in 2018

Hezonja, now a member of the EuroLeague’s Real Madrid, played just one season for the Knicks during the 2018-2019 season, averaging 8.8 points per game in 58 games (24 starts). Prior to his short Knicks tenure, Hezonja spent three seasons with the Orlando Magic, who selected him 5th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. Reflecting on his time with New York, Hezonja didn’t mince words regarding his decision to sign with the team in 2018.

[Moving to] the Knicks was the wrong decision. The story when I was coming there was that I was practically a future All-Star, not that I wouldn’t play [at all]. And I’m glad at the end of the day to be back in Europe,” said Hezonja.

Hezonja’s comments are not reflective of his poor play

Despite being a former lottery pick, the forward’s “future All-Star” comment may seem a little extreme considering he averaged just 6.9 points per game in his first three seasons with the Magic prior to joining the Knicks. With New York, Hezonja was given an opportunity to showcase his talent, starting 24 games while averaging 20.8 minutes per game, the second-highest mark of his career.

Aside from a couple of signature moments which included dunking on (and stepping over) Milwaukee Bucks F Giannis Antetokounmpo, and blocking a LeBron James game winner to seal a Knicks victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, Hezonja was rather unspectacular in the playing time he did receive, averaging 8.8 points on 41% from the field and 27% from 3, becoming one of the infamous faces of a Knicks team that finished 17-65, the worst record in the NBA.

Croatian F has re-invented himself in the EuroLeague

With an NBA comeback still in question, Hezonja seems to have rediscovered himself in Europe, averaging 13 points per game for Real Madrid this season. Hezonja declined to elaborate further on a possible return to the NBA.

“We will see what comes in the summer, where I am, and what I am. It’s pointless to talk about it now,” said Hezonja.

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