A Latvian kid got Kristaps Porzingis to clarify his Knicks future
Although Latvian journalists were instructed not to query Kristaps Porzingis about the Knicks travails during training camp for the European Championships, a kid camper had no such restrictions.
Last weekend at a basketball camp in Latvia attended by about 250 children, one youngster asked Porzingis in his native tongue why he wouldn’t abandon New York, and Porzingis sounded as if he’s committed for the long haul.
According to an English translation obtained by The Post, Porzingis answered:
“I feel that it is the best place to win. And if you win in New York, you are king. For the last two years, I have had so many positive emotions here that this is where I want to stay and that this is where I want to win.”
The comment is the most encouraging remark he’s made in the offseason regarding his Knicks future. On Friday, Porzingis “liked’’ a tweet that showed Kyrie Irving in Knicks gear. Irving reportedly requested a trade last week with the Knicks as one of the clubs on his wish list.
The Knicks are said to have no plans of including Porzingis in any Irving deal, thus making one unlikely. Then-Knicks president Phil Jackson looked into Porzingis deals before the draft.
With the firing of Jackson, Porzingis’ future appears brighter in New York. He blew off his exit meeting in April partly out of protest of how chaotically Jackson had run the franchise.
Porzingis started training camp for Latvia on Monday, and the national team will plays its first exhibition game July 29 in Finland. The tournament starts in late August.
When he declined to talk about the Knicks’ recent dealings Monday at a press conference, Porzingis said, according to a translation, “I’m just afraid that anything could distract me from my goal, which is national team right now.”
New Knicks president Steve Mills said Monday that wounds were healing, and he has “a hectic texting relationship” with the 7-foot-3 Latvian.
Also during the Q-and-A with campers, Porzingis offered some personal insight. He said his most positive influence is his brother/agent Janis, his only superstition is putting his left sock and shoe on first and that to be a star player “you need talent and second you need to have a good work ethic.’’