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New York Knicks coach David Fizdale is currently in Latvia meeting with star forward Kristaps Porzingis and says it’s important for him to get to know Porzingis and his family.
Besides building a relationship with Porzingis, Fizdale plans to sit with Porzingis and show him film of his game. The new Knicks coach also wants to show Porzingis summer league footage of rookie Kevin Knox and explain how the two can become a dynamic duo for the next several years.
“The NBA is a small world and you kinda know people from afar,” Fizdale said in an interview with Latvian television network LSM. “But this trip is more about getting to know him intimately. Know his family, know where he’s from, kinda get to see what made him Kristaps.”
Porzingis suffered a torn left ACL in February and underwent season-ending surgery shortly after. The 7-footer and the Knicks have been vague about when the power forward is expected to be ready to play again.
Before getting hurt, Porzingis was averaging 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 48 games while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from three.
“We’ve talked about his rehab,” Fizdale said. “We’ve talked about how we want to play, our style of play. Talked a lot about the culture that we’re building. We wanna make sure that he comes back strong and healthy (from his ACL surgery) and we don’t want to rush it. We’ve had some really good conversations. We talked about the kids we drafted. I’ve tried to make sure that we’ve been in communication on every decision that we’ve made.”
Knox, who was booed by Knicks fans at the draft, was very impressive in summer league and turned some heads. The 18-year-old averaged 21.3 points and 6.5 rebounds and is excited to play with Porzingis.
“I’m looking forward to playing with Porzingis,” Knox said. “I can learn from him and play with him offensively and defensively. He’s one of the best players in the league, so it will be fun to play with him.”