Rookie Diary, Volume 5: Kristaps Porzingis

VIDEO: Porzingis, Towns bask in first All-Star experience

Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks and Myles Turner of the Pacers will alternate on a weekly diary for covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off. This week: Porzingis discusses his first All-Star Weekend, in Toronto as a member of the World team, coached by Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, against the United States squad in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge.

The whole weekend was a lot of fun, even the day, Thursday, with a lot of media, a lot of interviews, a lot of pictures and stuff. I got to meet a lot of the rookies again and connect with all the internationals again, so it was a fun day. And then obviously the thing I was most excited for was the game.

I met coach Messina. He’s really big from coaching in Europe. To be on his team, that was great to learn from him a little bit and just to get a feel what type of coach he is. Just to be with the internationals, on the same team. It sucked that we didn’t get the win. That wasn’t fun. But the event was fun and I had a good time.

It was very organized obviously. But being with the Knicks is organized. Everything there was just perfect. There was a lot of security everywhere and making sure we were on time everywhere and doing the right thing. It was really a nice event, very well organized. I hope to come back next year.

I obviously want to be in the main game, the Sunday game, some day as well if that’s possible. My big dream is to be in the All-Star game. But I don’t want to look too far ahead. I just focus on this year first and then we can go day by day. If I keep growing as a player I think I will have an opportunity to be there one day.

That was my first time meeting coach Messina. All the Europeans kind of have an idea of what kind of coach he is. He’s not a typical NBA coach. He’s an elite coach that screams a lot. He’s that type of coach. I knew kind of what to expect, although obviously he knew what kind of game it was so he wasn’t really yelling at us or anything. But you can feel – I’m not sure how to say it – his presence and that he wants you to succeed and he wants 100 percent from you. He’s that type of coach. You never want to really mess around too much with him. He’s a very disciplined coach.

I think the biggest surprise for me was how well organized everything was and how they manage your time so you can be everywhere on time and at the same time you can relax a little bit and have that time with your family. Maybe not that I was surprised by it, but I was content about it went the whole weekend.

I think being there in my first year with my family there in Toronto and sharing that moment with them will be my best memory. We just hung out a lot. They were at the game. We went for lunch. We were hanging out whenever I had time off.

I arrived Thursday afternoon and left Saturday morning and went to the Bahamas for a quick vacation. But it wasn’t what I expected exactly because there was a lot of people from New York there. I couldn’t really hide because of my height. All day, basically, I was talking with the fans and taking pictures. I didn’t have the chance to relax.

But I was rested physically for sure when I went back to the Knicks. Maybe not as much mentally. But this break was really good for me and I think for the whole team as well, just to come back fresh. I definitely feel that I got some rest.

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