New York Post — Kristaps Porzingis called this “a huge summer” and said he will experiment with boxing as a training method. The 7-foot-3, 240-pound Knicks forward’s offseason goal is to get stronger, and he said he will use untraditional methods — he noted boxing among them — in addition to lifting weights.
“I’ll be doing a little bit of something I haven’t done before that’s not attached to basketball maybe that will help my game,’’ Porzingis said. “I’ll experiment a bit over the summer.’’ Of course, lifting weights is the major priority. Porzingis, 21, says his offseason regimen will be “more focused’’ than last season. The Knicks coaching staff felt he wasn’t strong enough to hold deep position on the low post and sometimes, on his drives, he got knocked off his stride.
“No. 1 is hitting the weight room, being there twice a day, living in there 24/7,’’ Porzingis said Wednesday when the Knicks won their season finale over the 76ers. “It’s going to be a huge summer for me, to get better and come into next season stronger. Last summer I was still learning what I wanted to do, what I wanted my routine to look like. This year it’ll be clearer — when I want to work out, how long, what I need to work on more, what I need to focus on. It’s a little clearer what I want to do this offseason.’’
Ooooohhhhhhhh Wheeeeeee… Hope the rest of the NBA is ready to catch these hands, baby.
My large adult son’s about to spend all summer on the bag on some Tyson & Cus D’Amato shit. Quick jabs and a two piece to anyone who wants to dance with my unicorn on the court or in the ring. Hard foul? Lay you on the hardwood. Step to a teammate? Knock you off your feet. Dare to put a hand on my pride and joy and oh dear lord buddy not even Jesus Christ himself can save you now. Have you laid out in Lennox Hill calling your momma your wife and your daddy your dog. You don’t want it with the Champ baby. You don’t wanna see what these hands can do baby. Walk your ass back down the court before Kris shakes that skull like a tambourine.
On a more serious note…
Now look, I can understand why people would be down on KP a little bit right now. I disagree, and I hate you for thinking that. But I get it. The Knicks were a disaster. And after looking like a superstar the first two months, Porzingis fell victim to injuries and only really had a few great moments here and there from January on.
I don’t think anyone in their right mind considers the Knicks collapse his fault. They never settled on one offensive gameplan. Derrick Rose is the worst possible point guard to play with in the entire league as a big man. Like, of all time. I hate him so much. Melo and KP are just a bad fit next to each other, especially in an offense where the supposed point guard takes 20 shots a night. And Kristaps was never going to get the touches he needed while Melo was still the team’s alpha. And we don’t have to get into the unprecedented levels of off-court turmoil with this godforsaken franchise again.
But I can understand the concern when you see all of Kristaps’ peers making the leap while he showed very little growth from January on. Towns is a goddamn prodigy. Jokic became Bill Walton 2.0 after the Nurkic trade. Davis, while obviously two years ahead, was the best center in the league. Embiid was a dominant player from the second he stepped on the court until the injuries happened. Gobert might be the Defensive Player of the Year. And all the while, Kristaps seemed to miss every other game and underwhelmed when he was on the court.
The thing is… it all goes back to situation. Every single one of those guys was handed the reigns to their team and had guys actually willing to give them the ball. Towns has Rubio and is the clear number one option. Denver ran the offense through Jokic and allowed him to be the Point-Center. Davis had nobody else even deserving of shooting a basketball until Boogie came. Philly pounded it to Embiid in his limited minutes. And while Gobert’s leap is much more about his defense, that Utah team would still give him the touches he deserved.
Kristaps was deemed the third option on a team with two of the most ball-dominant players in the league who didn’t want to run pick-and-pop. It turns out that really, really matters when you’re a young big man who’s talents are PERFECTLY suited to play in the pick and pop… to beat big men off the dribble from the perimeter and shoot over guards because you’re SEVEN FOOT THREE AND PREPOSTEROUSLY AGILE AND A LIGHTS OUT SHOOTER.
Kristaps still has the right attitude. He still handled this shitstorm of a season as well as he possibly could. And he’s still got all the talent and work ethic and drive and confidence you’d ever want from a franchise player.
And as long as he goes into next season with a point guard who will give him the ball and without another ball dominant big man to take shots away, we’ll see all the development that we saw from guys like Towns and Jokic when they were put in the right situation. The formula is there — follow through on the Melo trade that Melo seems very much resigned to… shoot Derrick Rose into space… hopefully be in position to draft Fultz, Ball, Fox, or Monk… if not, draft Nkitilina or Smith… don’t even consider looking at Tatum or Markkanen… and build the offense and the team around Porzingis and Rookie Point Guard X. That’s it. That is the only strategy.
And if Phil Jackson fucks this offseason up again and continues to build the wrong type of team around our large adult unicorn son, the Kristaps can use this boxing training and just start punching his teammates out like Jordan. Whatever. I’ll have jumped off my balcony long before next season starts.