Phil Jackson‘s concerns about the slender frame of Kristaps Porzingis have fueled the fire of this year’s No. 4 overall pick, as Porzingis made clear Wednesday, writes Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. Jackson had expressed worry to Charley Rosen of ESPN.com that “like Shawn Bradley, who was nevertheless a pretty good player, KP might almost be too tall for the game.”
“Yeah I saw it. I don’t know what to say. I guess that’s what Phil does, gets us to work hard and fired up. That fired me up. I’m like, ‘I’m not Shawn Bradley,’ you know?” Porzingis said, according to Bondy. “I want to be better than Shawn Bradley obviously and be stronger than him, but I’m a different player.”
The 7’2″ Porzingis, who’s gained 11 pounds this summer eating at least 5,000 calories a day, said that he declined to play for the Latvian national team at the Eurobasket tournament this month because the Knicks encouraged him not to, Bondy also notes. See more on the blue-and-orange here:
- Langston Galloway‘s partial guarantee jumped from $220K to $440K when he remained on the Knicks roster through Tuesday, as our schedule of contract guarantee dates shows. Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders first reported the guarantee structure. Galloway now has the league’s fifth-largest partial guarantee for this season.
- The success Isiah Thomas has had with the New York Liberty, whom he secretly began working with in January before the team announced his hiring in May, probably hasn’t increased his chances to return to the Knicks, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post. Officials with MSG indicated to Berman that owner James Dolan still has no desire to reinsert Thomas, with whom Dolan is friends, into the line of fire as Knicks president. Thomas and Knicks GM Steve Mills, whom Jackson wants as his successor in the team president’s role, aren’t close, Berman notes.
- Porzingis was New York’s top offseason addition, Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders opines, in an offseason in which the team’s free agent acquisitions simply weren’t of the caliber that Jackson was hired to make, as fellow Basketball Insiders scribe Lang Greene also writes in the site’s season preview.