In that vein, Porzingis has challenges ahead, not the least of which will be staying healthy and upbeat if the losses should mount. But at 22, and having promised in three languages (Latvian, Spanish and English) at 19 that he was no soft, shy European, he has gracefully embraced his promotion.
As Porzingis drained free throws to seal a game the Knicks dominated except for one horrific third-quarter stretch, I mentioned to someone sitting next to me at the Garden that Porzingis’s willingness to blow off an exit meeting with Phil Jackson last April, when Jackson still ran the team, was actually an example of a precocious young star showing conviction.
“People said he should have told Phil what he was upset about directly, but he was sending a message to ownership that he wasn’t going to accept the chaotic way the franchise was being run,” I said. “Even if his people put him up to it.”
The guy introduced himself as Dan Rohme of the agency ASA Sports — or as he said, “one of Kristaps’s people.”
For what it’s worth, he didn’t bother to correct me.
Mission accomplished. Jackson took the bait, commenced fielding trade offers for Porzingis and was soon…