This week has brought nothing but good news for people who love to read about Kristaps Porzingis. Yesterday, one of the better basketball writers, Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated, profiled Kristaps Porzingis in longform, ranging in topics from his brother-fueled upbringing to his transition to professional ball in Spain to his impressions of american culture thus far. Now, Jenkins can really write the absolute hell out of a pro basketball feature, but his Porzingis piece should particularly resonate with Knicks fans, who should largely recognize at this point that we the rare bird who's been missing for twenty years, and should be equally enthralled that he's 7'3" and was hiding in Latvia.
Earlier today, GQ released an interview between Jack Moore and Porzingis, who shared thoughts on rap songs and Robin Lopez's mascot fight, among other topics. Interestingly, Moore mentioned something Jenkins broached in his article; Porzingis' appreciation of the Youtube channel DawkinsMTA. From Jenkins' profile:
When Porzingis details how he survived the early years in Spain, he describes an old laptop that became a loyal companion. He lived on the YouTube channel Dawk Ins, which collected NBA highlights. He'd watch Kevin Durant one day and ask his coaches, "Am I like him?" Then he'd watch Anthony Davis the next and ask the same question. He bookmarked Bryant highlights ("The Kobe Clinic will get you so hyped") and slam-dunk compilations ("They make me try to dunk so hard"). At 3 a.m. on the road, as his teammates relaxed with movies or video games, he cued up the Clippers and imagined himself on the other end of Chris Paul lobs.
In the GQ profile, Moore pushes Porzingis to talk more about the surreality of now starring on his favorite Youtube channel. His answer speaks volumes:
It's kind of crazy to one day be watching those highlights trying to be like those guys, and now to just be one of those guys. It's crazy. But I'm still watching them. I gotta thank the guy who makes those videos. He's helped me with my game a lot. I would not stop watching those highlight tapes of all the guys last year and just trying to learn from them. So, I gotta really thank that guy. I appreciate what he's doing for basketball.
It is easy to overlook the significance of a Rookie of the Year candidate pointing to a Youtube highlights channel as a tangible asset to his basketball progression. With limited video resources, budding players have now turned to Youtube dot com as a viable means of video research. Timely, meticulously packaged highlights have always been among the best means of improvement for young players ("Watching Tape," "Film," etc.), only recently have they been available worldwide en masse for free.
If you have not yet done so, try to make time to read those Porzingis features. If you have already read your fill of Porzingis content, might I interest you in some highlights?