Call it the Kristaps 5K.
The New York Post's Marc Berman says rookie Kristaps Porzingis told his former Sevilla coach Audie Norris he's gained five kilograms (11 pounds) in five weeks on the Knicks' weight-training program. No details on what this program consists of, but it's fair to guess it's less mazsālīts lasis and kāpostu tīteņi and more buljona pīrādziņi and biezpienmaize. His draft-night weight was listed at 233 pounds, so 11 more takes "Zinger" (Norris's nickname for him) to a sexy 244. Here's hoping Mike Breen punctuates Kristaps's buckets with an emphatic "ZING!"
I haven't tried to gain weight since I was 16, and the GNC store in the mall was hardly the strength and conditioning staff of an NBA team. But the Knicks are as apt to propagandize as any other big-time profit machine, so this sort of dog-days-of-summer all-is-well-storyline is worthy of some skepticism. Don't want the peasants getting a whiff of anything problematic concerning the new savior, especially coming off the worst season in team history and especially when that savior needs a couple of years to marinate. I'm curious how far into the year we'll get before
Tina Cervasio Rebecca Haarlow is painting a different picture regarding Porzingis's pounds.
I'm also curious what weight the Knicks want him to reach. Robin Lopez and Kevin Seraphim are the only Knicks heavier than 244. Patrick Ewing played at 240. Zinger is taller, so he could afford to put on some more pounds. How many? 260? 270? When does the weight gained become diminishing returns for a fluid, athletic big? In these early days of his career, any muscle he puts on is welcome. I know I have some extra pounds lying around I don't need. Do you? Why not send them where they can do some good? Just mail your superfluous bulk to:
c/o Madison Square Garden
2 Pennsylvania Plaza
New York, NY 10121-0091
Do it for the team!
Other notable notes in the Berman piece:
- Norris says Porzingis is "ecstatic" with the training facility and first-rate options available to him in the NBA, quoting Kristaps as saying: "I don't see how NBA players can become lazy and not work out with everything available to them." An interesting sociological observation, to be sure. Also something I'd post on the bulletin board for motivation if I was a guy raw about being drafted below him. Do bulletin boards still exist?
- Norris was full of praise for all things Zinger, complimenting his work ethic, his upside, the work the two men did at Sevilla on his inside game, his burgeoning bank shot, his confidence, his dribbling, and his family. "Not trying to sound like an agent," Norris said. Silly Norris. To really sound like an agent, you'd have to publicly beef with the organization about Porzingis not going beyond a medically-suggested numerical limit. I know a guy who can help you with this.
- In the article's most most eyebrow-raising moment, Norris referred to Porzingis and fellow Sevilla teammate and 2015 Knick draftee Willy Hernangomez as his "young black lions." I'd say something got lost in the translation, but Norris is from Mississippi. On second thought, maybe something did get lost in translation.
- A number of pre-draft scouting reports on the Zinger used the phrase "the new Bargnani." Norris kindly rebutted this libel. Porzingis is "definitely an extrovert," he said, "Sometimes you can't shut him up. Not one of the quiet guys...not the silent type and very approachable." Berman contrasts this with "the Knicks' most recent European player, the boorish Andrea Bargnani" (Jose Calderon is actually just as European, and more recent, too). Over/under on how long it takes Knick nation to stop hearing about or mentioning you-know-who?
- Did you know: If Zinger maintains this rate of weight gain, he'll be 270 by the All-Star break, and his domination of the NBA will be soooo on.