Pistons’ Evan Fournier Met With Rude Welcome Back To MSG

Evan Fournier, Miles McBride, Pistons, Knicks, NBA
Feb 26, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Evan Fournier (31) controls the ball against New York Knicks guard Miles McBride (2) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Pistons veteran shooting guard Evan Fournier has to be somewhat happy about being traded by the New York Knicks ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline. Going from a playoff contender to a bottom-feeding team certainly isn’t ideal, but for Fournier, it was a chance for him to get on the court more consistently.

For more than a calendar year, Fournier was out of Tom Thibodeau’s rotation. November 13, 2013, was the last time he was part of the regular game plan, as he was removed from the rotation altogether after being taken out of the starting lineup eight games into the season.

From that point on, Fournier’s number was only called in the more dire of circumstances. If the Knicks were extremely short-handed, Thibodeau would turn to his veteran sharpshooter in a pinch.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Evan Fournier, Quentin Grimes, Malachi Flynn, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons Updates

It wasn’t a role that Fournier was happy about, but he did whatever was asked of him by the team and by all accounts was a consummate professional. That is what made the scene on Monday night such a bizarre one. 

On Monday night, he returned to Madison Square Garden as a visitor for the first time since the trade and was met with a rude welcome. Every time he touched the ball on the court, he was met with boos from the Knicks faithful.

It was the exact opposite reaction that Quentin Grimes, who was also part of the trade ahead of the NBA trade deadline to Detroit, received from the crowd. After the game, Grimes spoke about the reception Fournier received, as he was surprised the crowd booed him.

“It was kind of not pleasant to see from the fans, but I thought he did a lot for this team. When I was here, he was always on time, always professional, but that’s Knicks fans for you, which is how it goes,” Grimes said after the game, via Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Evan Fournier, Quentin Grimes, Malachi Flynn, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons Updates

Grimes and Fournier certainly did their best to help their new team get a victory over their old one. Fournier scored seven points with two steals, while Grimes had 14 points with three rebounds, two assists, one steal and three blocks.

Another former Knick, Malachi Flynn, had a solid game off the bench as well, scoring eight points with three rebounds and two assists. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough to get the win, as New York avoided the upset, winning 113-111 with a little help from the referees missing a call near the end of the game.

It was certainly odd to see the crowd react to Fournier with such disdain. He set the Knicks’ record for 3-pointers in a season during his first campaign in New York with 214. Things didn’t work out in the end, but the booing was certainly surprising to hear.

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