Monday's Knicks News: Kristaps Porzingis admires Dirk Nowitzki

Kristaps Porzingis, at 7-3, still looks up to Dirk Nowitzki: After a game last December, Kristaps Porzingis was handed a piece of paper with a phone number on it. A basketball legend was impressed with how the young Knick played and carried himself, and he wanted to extend a helping hand. It was Dirk Nowitzki. Porzingis is from Latvia. He idolized Kobe Bryant, but he also looked up to and admired Nowitzki, who grew up in Germany. Now the best European-born NBA player and future Hall of Famer wanted to exchange numbers and texts with the unproven rookie. -- Newsday

Knicks’ Justin Holiday swears off social media to focus on prayer: Knicks backup shooting guard Justin Holiday has vowed to stay off social media — except to post Bible verses — in an attempt to increase his prayer work. Holiday’s family is going through tough times. His sister-in-law, soccer star Lauren Holiday, married to the Pelicans’ Jrue Holiday, recently underwent brain surgery for a tumor after giving birth to a baby girl. Jrue Holiday has been tending to his new baby and ailing wife and has not joined the 1-9 Pelicans. However, his leave of absence is expected to end this week. Meanwhile, Justin Holiday announced he will be off Twitter for an extended period. -- New York Post

Derrick Rose vents about refs: Why don’t I ever get the calls?: Through the first nine games, Derrick Rose has rocketed to the rim without a problem, occasionally with a killer crossover that has the fans fawning. Rose’s forays often end with a lovely kiss off the glass for two points — or a wild miss/turnover. What they don’t end up with is Rose getting to the free-throw line — a fact that has the Knicks’ new point guard wondering if he is getting proper treatment from the officials. -- New York Post

Five most important issues Knicks must address: In a different and better existence for the Knicks, they start the season with a winning record and a solid defense. In that world, Derrick Rose moves closer to his MVP form and Joakim Noah turns back into a defensive dynamo. But that's not reality nearly four weeks in with a 3-6 record. And yes it's early, but the Knicks don't get the benefit of the doubt. Phil Jackson ESPECIALLY doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt with his resume as team president. -- New York Daily News

Positives tough to come by: Derrick Rose was seeking a light at the end of the tunnel, finding something to cling to after the Knicks lost another game Saturday night to fall to 3-6 on the season. So he thought back to his days with the Chicago Bulls when the team was a perennial contender. -- The Record