Obi Toppin’s mentality against the former Knicks team

Revenge against the Knicks never came out of Toppin’s mouth. But he understands that the circumstances he finds himself in now are part of the rivalry between his former team and his current team, which had physical and emotional battles in the playoffs in the 1990s.

“It’s definitely a crazy rivalry,” Toppin said, “but at the end of the day, we all got here and we’re basically going to battle as soon as we get to New York. Obviously, like I said, they’re one of the most physical teams in the league. They’ve had that identity for many years and we just have to go in there and match their physicality and play our type of basketball and I feel like we’ll be good at that.

Toppin wasn’t known for his physical play, but rather as a subtle player who energizes the crowd with his signature dunks. But this time his dunks will no longer elicit “oohs and aahs” from the Garden crowd.

The once-promising lottery pick is content to play his role.

“I feel like I’m preparing just like I did for Milwaukee,” Toppin said. “I just focus on everything the coaches tell us to do offensively and defensively, and play my role.”

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