You’d think Elfrid Payton stole the lunch money off New York Knicks fans the way they really don’t like the veteran point guard.
Every team has its fan favorites. Some teams also have that one player that fans love to hate on.
For the New York Knicks, it’s Elfrid Payton.
Payton has started 51 games for New York this year, averaging 11.5 points per game. Along the way, he’s earned a reputation for being … well … not good.
And that’s a tame response to Payton.
Knicks fans really can’t stand Elfrid Payton
A quick search on Twitter reveals an endless pit of criticisms and burns directed toward the point guard.
To be fair, they may have a point considering the numbers.
When the Knicks beat the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, Payton managed to rack up four turnovers in 14 minutes.
It was particularly annoying for fans against the Charlotte Hornets when Payton passed up dishing to RJ Barrett in favor of an ill-advised drive.
The lack of on-court chemistry between Payton and Barrett, a candidate for the Most Improved Player in the league, is a point of contention.
Despite the feel-good run the team is on, the return of fans to Madison Square Garden meant criticism from the stands for Payton, who has been with the Knicks since 2019.
In fact, a lot of people wondered why Payton gets minutes when others could benefit from them. Rose included.
Rose is averaging 13.3 points in equal minutes compared to Payton’s 11.5. He’s also averaged more assists and fewer turnovers.
At least someone has Payton’s back.
The Knicks are 34-27 and sitting fourth in the Eastern Conference thanks to their recent nine-game win streak. They can’t get complacent with the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics not far behind in the race to stay out of the play-in games to begin the playoffs.