I’ve never had a bigger smile on my face than when I read this whole piece
Sports Illustrated — Kristaps Porzingis sits in stages, folding his 7’3″ frame into a leather chair, collapsing his legs under a coffee table, squeezing his elbows inside an arm rest. It is an act of contortion almost as acrobatic as a lefthanded floater in a crowded lane. The NBA is populated by outsized humans, but there is something especially supernatural about the length of Porzingis, which can’t simply be characterized by wingspan measurements at predraft workouts. The first words Hubie Brown said upon meeting the Knicks’ rookie were, “He’s so tall!” Here was a Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster, a fixture in professional basketball for four decades, reduced to an awestruck kid on the street. “He looks bigger than 7’3″,” adds Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, evidence of a phenomenon that has already grown larger than life.
When the gymnastics are finished and Porzingis is finally seated, he surveys his opulent surroundings in the lobby of the Atlanta Ritz-Carlton: the marble floors, the crystal chandeliers, the velvet banquettes, the man playing the black baby grand piano, the woman serving the complimentary chicken sliders. He just arrived from New York, where he splits time between high-rise apartments in White Plains and Manhattan, ferried to and from residences in a new Mercedes sedan. Seven months shy of his 21st birthday, he chooses steakhouses over nightclubs, and reports he has acquired a taste for filet mignon. He sleeps on a customized 98-by-80-inch mattress made by one sponsor, sips from a sports drink brewed by another and takes to Instagram to thank a brand ambassador for his biker-denim jeans. When the Knicks travel, they fly on a charter, and the carrier happens to sponsor him as well.
I don’t even know where to go with this one. I could name off my 25 favorite little tidbits in here if I wanted. From the Jordan post trick… to the Spanish vets trying to beat him up… to the late night Youtube study sessions… to the weight room discipline… to his first practice with Lance Thomas… to the ‘charisma’ described by scouts… to the ‘aura’ described by Melo… to the unmistakable ‘alegria’ he has brought to this team. I could go on all day. But none of that would do it justice.
Go read to whole piece. Read it as a Knicks fan with an unstoppable cackle. Read it as a rival fan with pants full of poop. Read it, go watch Steph’s highlights from last night (bottom of the blog), and know that the only person who can–and who will–stop Steph and the Warriors reign of terror over the NBA is the 20 year old Latvia with that unmistakable alegria. And try to keep calm… like Kristaps Porzingis