Kristaps Porzingis’s older brother Janis, who also works for the agency who represents the budding Knicks superstar, had a whole bunch of thoughts on his younger bro’s past, present and future, which he elaborated to the Latvian publication Sports Avize (translated by Eurohoops.net).
As far as Knicks fans are concerned, the most important stuff has to deal with his future. The franchise can offer Kristaps an extension in the neighborhood of $150 million this summer. But the Porzingis family isn’t necessarily focused exclusively on dollar signs, according to Janis. He laid it out for the organization plainly:
“The most important question here is this: What do you really want to achieve in your career? Because money—if Kristaps performs at least on his normal level, is gonna come. We are more focused on some other values and not just to quickly sign a new contract so we can collect the money. That’s definitely not our goal, so we won’t be feverishly counting minutes or counting points. You can’t escape the reality and the Knicks must also see that. From their point of view, Kristaps is the focal point at the moment so you cannot upset him much or otherwise, at the end of the season, he will say, 'It’s not so cool here.' The second question is: Who is the New York audience coming to watch now? To a large extent, it’s Kristaps. So the organization has to take that into account.”
I’m worried that this might be a little too real for the Knicks organization, especially if the owner should happen to read it. Please, front office, keep this interview as far away from James Dolan as possible. But this also appears to be a classic case of “spot the lie, tho.” The Knicks can’t afford to upset Kristaps, which is one of the main reasons Phil Jackson got the boot. In this interview, Janis paints last season’s decision to skip the exit interview as a very rational, calculated play on the part of Kristaps to force real change. Janis goes even farther by questioning why Carmelo Anthony never did more to confront Jackson when it was clear that he was out of control, operating almost purely out of spite.
To his credit, Kristaps has put his money where his mouth is, putting up All-Star number to start the season. The timing of this Janis interview is a little strange, but who knows when this thing was recorded? All I know is that Kristaps is awesome and players usually don’t turn down $150 mil.
Here’s the full interview, courtesy of the Daily News. I highly recommend reading it.