Kristaps Porzingis is rehabilitating overseas, but he remains in constant communication with David Fizdale, Kevin Knox, and the New York Knicks.
The New York Knicks are beginning to steal the show at the 2018 Summer League in Las Vegas. Kevin Knox is turning heads with his play above the rim, Mitchell Robinson is flashing remarkable two-way potential, and Frank Ntilikina is showcasing his new arsenal of skills.
For as promising as the Knicks’ young core appears to be, all roads lead to one man when it comes to the team’s long-term potential: Kristaps Porzingis.
Porzingis, 22, has earned the reputation of a legitimate franchise player. It’s understandable, as he received his first career All-Star Game selection in 2017-18 by emerging as one of the few players in the NBA who provides 20-a-night production and elite defensive contributions.
Unfortunately, Porzingis is also in the process of rehabilitating a torn ACL that’s birthed skepticism from around the NBA.
Rather than working with New York’s doctors, Porzingis has returned to Europe for the rehabilitation process. That’s inevitably created questions pertaining to how in the know the Knicks truly are about his recovery process.
In an interview with Marc J. Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated, Knicks head coach David Fizdale revealed that he’s in consistent communication with Porzingis.
"We WhatsApp all the time and check in on each other…Every time we do something team-buildingwise, I always make sure that I hit him up and send him a picture, a film or whatever it is. He can’t get here for that, but I want him to still feel [he’s a part of it]. It’s been a good building process."
Fizdale also stated that he and his wife will be leaving in two weeks to spend time with Porzingis and his family in Europe.
"And my wife and I are flying out in two weeks to go spend a week with him and his family."
If that isn’t a sign of a coach being committed to the process, I’m not entirely sure what it is that you’re looking for.
Communication between the franchise player and the head coach is essential to team success. Said player must know exactly what’s expected of them, as well as what it is that the supporting cast will be providing on both ends of the floor.
As for the player who’s looking the part of the Robin to Porzingis’ Batman, rookie forward Kevin Knox told NBA TV analyst and former Orlando Magic sharpshooter Dennis Scott that he and Porzingis FaceTime, “A lot.”
For those who can’t see the video, Knox said the following about Porzingis:
"“He’s actually overseas, so I’ve been FaceTiming him a lot. He’s been giving me some tips, making sure I stay working hard. He’s ready to get back to New York so we can start working out together, but he’s a great guy, hopefully he gets healthy soon.”"
In other words: Porzingis has been in constant communication with the Knicks.
Only time will tell what type of chemistry the Knicks are able to develop on the court. There’s more talent in place than New York has seen in quite some time, however, and Porzingis appears to be keeping himself in the loop as he recovers overseas.
After a seemingly endless string of offseasons that were marred by drama, one can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief as the Knicks receive positive news.
From a sea of chaos has emerged a new leader of the New York Knicks: Kristaps Porzingis.