Porzingis on joining the Celtics: “This is what I really wanted”

2023-10-15T10:13:41+00:00 2023-10-15T10:18:03+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

15/Oct/23 10:13


An eventful summer for Latvian Kristaps Porzingis from sitting out the 2023 FIBA World Cup to moving his talents to the Boston Celtics

By Johnny Askounis/ info@eurohoops.net

Joining a contender for the NBA championship was the best possible step for Kristaps Porzingis en route to his ninth campaign in the league.

Porzingis, 28, is preparing for the 2023-24 Regular Season, eager to make a run for the title alongside Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday, and Al Horford.

“At this point in my career, this is what I really wanted, to be able to try to win it all,” the Latvian forward told Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston, “Especially wearing these colors and this organization, which is, as I keep saying, if not the most iconic than top two most iconic franchises there are. And I’m playing for this team. So it’s absolutely incredible. An incredible opportunity for me, and I’m just grateful for it all.”

Logging two appearances in the 2023 NBA Preseason, he averaged 14.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest. The Celtics are set to welcome the New York Knicks in TD Garden on Tuesday and visit the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on Thursday, before entering the Regular Season.

“It was very tough”

Apart from being traded from the Washington Wizards to the Celtics in June and inking a contract extension with his new team, Porzingis was forced to skip the 2023 FIBA World Cup due to plantar fasciitis. Despite being excluded from the squad, he followed his teammates, enjoying the historic achievement of ranking fifth overall in the country’s first showing in the final stage of the tournament.

“It was very tough,” he recalled being ruled out from the World Cup held in Asia during the offseason, “The day I made the decision, not me, as a group we made a decision. I had to tell the coach that I was not going to be able to play. It was very tough.”

“It has not bothered me at all,” he added on his current health status, following the international competition and heading to the NBA Regular Season, “The medical staff did an incredible job of loading slowly. I wanted to go right away as soon as I got here to play pick-up the first day. But they held me back a little bit. I listened to them and it’s been going perfect, ready for training camp and ready to go.”

The Latvian big is a veteran of 412 NBA games spread between the Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, and New York Knicks. He was the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft.

Photo Credit: YouTube

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