Porzingis: I want to stay in New York, but winning is paramount

Posted: 25/04/2017 in NBA, Sports
Tags: , , ,
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For Kristaps Porzingis, nothing is more important than winning.

The New York Knicks power forward recently wrapped up his sophomore campaign, which didn’t go as planned. After the club failed to reach the postseason for the fourth straight year, Porzingis skipped his exit meeting for undisclosed reasons. In fact, he didn’t have a formal sit-down with anyone in the organization before returning to his native Latvia on Thursday to announce his participation in EuroBasket 2017 this summer.

Despite the unceremonious departure, the 21-year-old said he loves the Big Apple and wants to remain a Knick … provided the franchise can assemble a competitive squad.

“Absolutely, I want to stay here all my career,” Porzingis told Latvian magazine Sporta Avize, as quoted by Marc Berman of The New York Post. “But the thing I want most of all is winning. When the time comes, I will seriously start to think about it. Right now I just try to do my best.”

The big man hasn’t experienced much winning since being drafted fourth overall by New York in 2015, with the club posting a cumulative record of 63-101 over the last two seasons. To make matters worse, the Knicks’ lack of success on the hardwood in 2016-17 was exacerbated by a consistent flow of in-house – yet exceedingly public – drama, most notably the friction between team president Phil Jackson and star Carmelo Anthony.

“This was a situation media did not hesitate to heat up more than it was in reality,” Porzingis said. “I think there was some mistakes from Phil – things he maybe shouldn’t (have) said or written, things that made the situation worse or made him not look good. But at the same time – it’s that kind of business. I understand.”

As bad as the season was, though, The Unicorn found a silver lining.

“In a one way this was a good year for me to see how can I handle so crappy a time and learn from that,” Porzingis said. “It was unpleasant but valuable experience to learn from, to get through it and continue to play with the right attitude and maximum concentration.

“If you want to be a leader you have to start with yourself – first you have to look in the mirror and ask yourself: what can you do better? And only then tell your teammates what they should do better … a real test for the brains.”

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