Kristaps Porzingis on playing in Olympics: 'I have to make a decision'

BY foxsports • February 1, 2016

Like elementary school kids afflicted with cabin fever, New York Knicks rookie big man Kristaps Porzingis has yet to make his summer plans official -- but he's certainly thinking about warmer months.

We're nearing the Olympics, and though Latvia hasn't clinched a spot just yet, the national team does have a chance. If it makes it there, K.P. will be the best player on the roster. But what if the Knicks want Porzingis to attend summer league in Las Vegas like many second-year players do? 

Via Marc Berman of the New York Post:

Teams are often pretty good about allowing players to participate in the Olympics, especially young ones, and Porzingis is probably too good for summer league at this point. There was a reason we didn't see Andrew Wiggins in Las Vegas last summer or Michael Carter-Williams the year before that or Damian Lillard the year before that.

All those players were coming off rookie of the year awards. Porzingis is by no means a shoe-in to garner the trophy. Heck, he probably isn't even the favorite with the way Karl-Anthony Towns is playing in Minnesota. But he's a contender, and a dominant enough rookie that we usually don't see someone of his caliber participate in summer league before he enters his second NBA season. 

So, if Latvia makes it into the Olympics (which would require winning their bracket at the 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July), that may be the safe bet for where he ends up going.

“It would be a dream come true for Latvia to make the Olympics,’’ Porzingis told The Post. “I have to make a decision. If I want to work on my game individually or play for the team. It’s different ways [of developing].’’


“They’re good and getting better,’’ Porzingis said. “I thought they did good in the European Cup. I think we’d have chance with or without me. But I have to make a decision.’’