It has been a tumultuous few days for Knicks fans, whether or not you agree with the Derrick Rose trade. Everyone has his or her own opinion, and we here at P&T have embraced debate, but the time for argument has past. The fanbase needs a uniter; someone we can all get behind:
At Home in Latvia with the Future of the New York Knicks - Following Kristaps Porzingis to a little https://t.co/QX0okHbL9d via @Esquire— taron williams (@musiqtarheel) June 25, 2016
Oh yeah ... that's the stuff. Esquire followed Kristaps Porzingis around his hometown of Liepaja. Seriously, read the piece: It's worth it just for the photos. Kristaps smiling at the family breakfast table will make you swoon.
The article also contains several insights, not only into the Unicorn's sudden rise to superstardom in his native land, but why exactly it means to play for the New York Knicks on the world stage. In its own weird way, this quote from the awesomely-named Kristers Krafts perfectly illustrates why the Knicks still have international appeal:
"I remember watching Friends growing up, and they would say, 'I have tickets to the Knicks game,'" says Kristers Krafts, a Liepaja native who works as a tour guide. "I barely knew what that was for a while, but now I think to myself, if it was filmed today, Kristaps might be in the episode."
Having taught overseas, I can testify to the fact that Friends remains a popular show for people trying to learn English. The Knicks haven't really mattered in the NBA during young Krafts' lifetime, but they'll always be the team of Joey Tribbiani.
I've been saying it for a year now: Kristaps is for the children. Nowhere is that more true than in Liepaja, where 100 kids mobbed him on his new court.
"It's a dream come true for me to be an idol for those kids," Porzingis says after. "One little moment from my life that I spend with that kid, he might remember that for the rest of his life, that he met me that day when he was 10 years old."
And it's a dream come true for us to watch you living your dream of being an idol for those kids ... even some of the older children:
"Latvians are shy," says Normunds, the Olympic Center manager. "We don't often ask for autographs. But with Kristaps, everyone wants a photo. I saw a 60-year-old man ask him to sign his basketball once."
He signs autographs for the elderly, so I have a shot!
The author ends his piece with news that Kristaps will soon be heading back to the States -- he'll be in Orlando for Summer League, even if he won't necessarily play. Personally, I don't think we should ever let him leave us again.