Kristaps Porzingis had a tremendous rookie year. Number 1, he didn’t get hurt. Number 2, he didn’t look weak but strong instead, allaying the fears of “fragile big man syndrome” that fans familiar with Bill Walton, Sam Bowie and Greg Oden are painfully aware of. Number 3? Porzingis proved he could do it all — a sensational pure athlete with an unassailable deep-threat eye, he can also rebound, pass and run the floor. Oh, and he’s still 7’3″. He’s also the owner of a sky-high basketball IQ.
Now he’s also partnering with some first-class talent as teammates. (Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, and Brandon Jennings are all new Knicks, adding to Carmelo Anthony and Porzingis.) Porzingis says the Knicks are “trying to get together early and build that chemistry.” His main focus this summer was “getting stronger, not necessarily bigger.” He’s “238 pounds” he says, “close to 240.” That, BTW, was Hall of Fame Knicks center Patrick Ewing‘s listed playing weight throughout his career — 240. No one ever said Ewing was weak, small or underweight.