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What can Kristaps Porzingis learn from mattresses of legends past?

If history has taught us nothing else -- and it hasn't -- it's that a great NBA player needs a great mattress.

Training camp has not yet begun, which means there's still time for Knicks players to have a little fun ... and what could be more fun than a trip to America's Playground: Newark, NJ!

But make no mistake: Kristaps didn't make the trek out to Newark to take in the all the sights and culture. He was there on a #BusinessTrip to the famous Shifman Mattress Factory, where the stars of tomorrow get fitted for the mattresses of today.

From Dime Magazine (emphasis mine):

In another missed opportunity, we're left behind as the Shifman staff brings the big Latvian around so he can try out their hand-tufting services that make them a premium mattress company, one that custom crafts the 80' by 98' Athletic King Porzingis will rest his weary frame on at night.


The Shifman CEO admits, "It's the largest one we've ever made," even though they've made three beds for Dikembe Mutombo's stops in Atlanta, New Jersey and Philadelphia. Mount Mutombo's King-sized bed was 80 x 90, so Kristaps has an additional eight inches of length.

This kid has been praised all summer for his intelligence and work ethic -- and rightly so -- but this is just another level of genius: he's going to sleep in the same kind of bed as Mutombo. We know he wants to improve on defense, and what better way to do that than to begin each day on the mattress preferred by a four-time Defensive Player of the Year? And if this convinces him to start using the pickup line "Who wants to sex Porzingis?" then all the better.

Kristaps intrinsically understands a fundamental truth about this league that most people ignore: the path to greatness runs through the boudoir. Shaq had his Superman bed:

And nobody has ever raised the mattress game to the heights of Wilt Chamberlain and our own Clyde Frazier:

Legends, champions, mattress connoisseurs. While the common ballers of their day were playing checkers, these Hall of Famers were playing chess ... on a bed, surrounded by cats.

Simply put, Kristaps Porzingis gets this concept. Other rookies will claim to "eat, sleep and breathe basketball," but I don't see Karl-Anthony Towns sleeping on Kevin Garnett's bed. Porzingis remains a step ahead of the game. My only hope is that he holds his Rookie of the Year press conference at that mattress factory in Newark, as any true baller would.