Porzingis Playing For Latvia This Summer, Hasn't Spoken With Knicks Since Season Ended
LEIPAJA, Latvia (CBSNewYork) -- Like it or not, Knicks, Kristaps Porzingis is playing for the Latvian national team this summer.
The Knicks' star big man announced his plans Monday at a news conference in his hometown of Leipaja. In doing so, Porzingis revealed that he still has not spoken to the Knicks since blowing off his April 13 exit interview and that he did not ask for their blessing before committing to play in the European Championships.
"To be honest, I don't want to comment on anything that happened at the season's end," Porzingis said, according to the New York Post. "Personally, I did not have any contact with anybody from the club (since the season ended)."
In honoring the Knicks' wishes, the 7-foot-3 standout skipped last year's European Championships so he could stay in New York to work on improving his NBA game. When asked Monday how the Knicks felt about his participation this time around, Porzingis reportedly let his brother, Janis, who is one of his agents, field the question.
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"Kristaps is in a position to decide for himself on playing for the national side," Janis said, the Daily News reported.
"I thought about this for a while already, maybe subconsciously, but when the season ended and since I am healthy — I realized that I certainly want to help the national team,'' Porzingis added.
Porzingis would not comment on why he missed his season-ending interview with team president Phil Jackson. According to multiple reports, he is not pleased with the way the Knicks are being run, fueling speculation that the standoff could be the first crack in an eventual split between the team and 21-year-old former first-round pick.
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Porzingis, however, told a Latvian sports magazine in late March that he wants to retire as a Knick, and he said Monday that he intends to report for training camp on time in September.
He has two years remaining on his contract and will be a restricted free agent after that.
The Knicks went 31-51 this past season and missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year.
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