Rookie Diary, Volume 4: Kristaps Porzingis

VIDEO: Prozingis wins the Kia Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for January

Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks and Myles Turner of the Pacers will alternate on a weekly diary for NBA.com covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off. This week: Porzingis discusses preparing for his first All-Star weekend, to play for the World team against the United States roster in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge with the best rookies and second-year players on Friday night in Toronto.

I wasn’t too surprised when I was told I had been picked. But it was a goal. I wanted to be in the rookie game. I was already talking about it last season, when I was still in Spain. During this same time, I was talking with my agent and my family that “Hopefully next year or whenever. I want to be there.” So it was a good feeling to make it. It was nice to find out that I was in the game, and I’ll have my parents and two of my older brothers with me.

I would rather play in the game than have the time off during All-Star break. During the season the only thing I focus on is basketball. If you can have a few days off, that’s fine. If not, you keep working. Playing at All-Star weekend was something that I wanted to do and if that’s how it is then I’m not going to get any days off.

I’ve been talking to a few of my teammates and the people who work with the team about what to expect, asking how it’s going to be. Actually you’ve got to do a lot of extra stuff, a lot of media. They’re preparing me for everything that’s coming. They’re mostly telling me that it’s not just one game and that’s it. There’s a lot of stuff going on before. Everybody’s giving me advice.

I’m looking forward to going out there with all the rookies and kind of reuniting with all of them from the rookie transition program before the season. It will be fun. I met all those guys and I stayed in touch with a lot of those guys, so it will be fun to play against them again and have fun out there.

I’m not really trying to meet somebody in particular apart from the game. But it will be nice to see all those famous people out there. Probably not for our game, but more for the big All-Star game. Maybe I’ll get to meet some rappers maybe or other people. I’m not sure yet if I’ll even go to the other events. I might. We’ll see if I stay that long in Toronto.

I’m sure I will be thinking when I’m there about playing in the All-Star game one day. That’s one of my goals, that I want to be there. I want to be an All-Star. Right now I’m really focusing on what’s going on now and not looking two, three, four or five years in front of me. But in the long term, I obviously want to be there. I want to be part of the big event.

That’s motivation for me, how hard you’ve got to work to be there and to make it. That’s one of the rewards you get. To be one of those 24 guys that are in the All-Star game, I think that’s a dream for everybody. But I don’t want to get away from the things that are happening now. I really want to focus on what’s going on now. That opportunity might come, but I’ve just really got to focus on the day-to-day and getting better.

Every event like this is something that stays in your memory. It’s something that you achieved in your first year in the NBA. You’re able to play in the rookie game. That’s a nice thing to remember going forward and looking back 20 years from now and remembering all those good times – my first year, how I got adjusted, how I got picked for the rookie game. Those are good memories. Nothing will be able to replace that.

9 Comments

  1. Kirby Olson says:

    Kristaps Porzingis is the best thing that could have happened to the New York Knicks. I hope he has many long good years ahead of him with the Knicks. Every time they’re on, I drop everything and watch him play. I think he’s the most interesting player to watch in the entire NBA. We don’t yet know what he will do in a game – there are blocks, there are steals, there are dunks, and then there are the sweet jump shots that hit all net. Porzingis, like that other fascinating New Yorker Donald Trump, makes every minute of his time on television riveting, and I’ve also enjoyed his Diary. Thank you, Mr. Porzingis, for what you’ve added to professional basketball.

    Kirby Olson, Philosophy Teacher
    SUNY-Delhi

  2. Greetings to Kristaps and family,
    As a fellow Latvian who came to United States in 1950 at the age of thirteen, I am interested in following Kristaps career. I am a true fan. I was a second team All American in soccer, so I do can on a diminished scale experience some of the feelings while playing.
    However, even for a star, life can be lived more fully if all the advantages of having opportunities to meet people and develop friendships is explored. The one thing that I regret is that I did not keep a journal or blog of all the people I met, so that later in life I could reconnect with them. And remember that right now you can make connections so as to partake in business opportunities that will become available to you if you make the right contacts. Let Magic Johnson and his business acumen serve as an example to you.
    And, please, write in your blog about people you meet both in basketball but also off the court. Writing about people, without making slanderous remarks about them (a la Trump) will make your blog so much more interesting.
    Gunars
    Es velu Jums Porzinska kungs daudz laimes un panakumus. And don’t be shy, ask to be introduced to some of the rappers you like. They may be honored to hear from you.

  3. Tommy Kawalec says:

    We have some awesome player’s on the Knicks team Phil Jackson did a great job getting them, but not with picking Derek Fisher as the coach time to let him go!

  4. butler says:

    There is something wrong with the way Fisher coach…Knicks have a great group of players but can’t seem to win games. We don’t ever hear about Knicks locker room drama and that’s probably a good thing… but what I’m saying is that it’s gonna be tough for Phil Jackson to replace Fisher since the Zen master was the one who picked & hired him in the first place.

  5. Jordan says:

    KP this is Jordan aka the crying knicks fan. By now you already know I am your biggest fan! I tried my best to have you selected to the All Star game in Toronto. You finished 6th in the fan voting (first 3 get selected by the fans). You were the only rookie player in the top 50 in the voting. Then I tried to get the coaches to select you as a reserve by writing a letter to ESPN telling them why you deserve to be playing in the All Star game. I am sure you will make it one day. I promise you I will be there whereever the game might be.

  6. Green says:

    How about Monty Williams as coach of the Knicks, the guy did a great job in New Orleans. Won something like 9 of the last 10 games last year without Anthony Davis and made the playoffs. Got fired by another Billionaire who wanted to play uptempo basketball and you can see where New Orleans is now.

  7. Rell says:

    He’s not playing well enough to be an all-star right now. 15, 1.8, and 7.9 on 43% on a losing team. Knick fans live in a fantasy world that I escaped a long time ago. The roster is not good enough. Kristaps is a rookie with potential to be a star who at this moment is a role player. Phil Jackson built this team it was not coaching that caused them to not be in the playoffs riht now. They’re just not good enough. The east is tough this year.

  8. Agita says:

    Lai veicas tev,Kristap! Tev ir apbrinojams talants. Skatoties, speles , loti labi redzams tava prima trenera Sprudes darbs.Jo man ari pasai ir bijusi ta izdeviba pie vina treneties. Ka ari atceros, cik kolosali Liepajas metalurga komanda speleja tavs paps Talis. Ir dazas speles nospeletas ar tavu mammu, kas ari meistariba spideja. Ir prieks redzet, ka esi pietuvojies savu sapnu piepildijumam, lai speletu NBA. Lai tev izturiba un pacietiba, veiksme. Liepaja rulle!

  9. Bobby Lee says:

    I wish him a great career. I hope he’ll help to bring back the title to NY