Before I say anything, let me make myself loud and clear: I love Kristaps Porzingis. When he’s playing his best basketball, he’s one of the most fun players to watch in the league.
But now I am going to say something that has been lingering in my mind for a few weeks now. It’s a horrible, terrible thought that I have had. A demon sitting in the back of my head, whispering this one word to describe Porzingis in my ear over and over again. The word? “Soft.”
I don’t want to believe it. I don’t want to acknowledge it. But I think it’s time we address what is becoming a bit of an elephant in the room. Is the Zinger a little soft?
Honestly, I kind of think yes. I’d say I’ve watched the majority of about 80-85% of the Knicks’ games this season and the one thing about The Unicorn’s game that I need to bitch about is that I think he does flop from time to time. I see the arms flail. I see him fall on what looks like somebody bodying him up pretty hard. I see all of this. I started thinking this horrible thoughts when the Knicks played the Hornets a few weeks ago and this happened:
The wink was fantastic/sexy, but this wasn’t the only questionable foul that was called on Dwight that night when he was guarding Porzingis. Credit to KP this game because he was clearly getting the calls, but it has sort of become part of his game and I just don’t know how I feel about it. Like yes, it’s working to an extent, but do I want the face of my franchise to be kind of seen as a flopper?
And now we have this story run by ESPN about how Porzingis gets tired when he plays back-to-backs. In reality, it’s probably something that the majority of players think, but again is this something I want my 22 year old franchise player to be saying publicly? This time I’ll answer: No I do not.
Look, I’m not 7’3″. I will concede that when you’re running and jumping on a seven foot, three inch frame things probably get sore. And yes, in reality are the Knicks going anywhere this year other than maybe an 8 seed? Probably not. So if Porzingis is tired and sore, I’d rather have him stay healthy for when the Knicks are actually legit contenders in the East (hopefully within the next few years). I’d hate for him to push it and break a foot, tear an ACL, or do something else catastrophic because his body isn’t quite “there yet” ESPECIALLY since we are starting to hit the point in the season where a bad injury could start to seep into next season.
In summation, am I worried about Porzingis? No. By all accounts he’s a really hard worker and I can definitely see him putting on even more muscle and improving his endurance. But do I want my franchise guy saying he’s tired on the back end of a back-to-back when he’s six fucking years younger than me? No I do not. And as for the flopping? Hey I guess until other people start freaking out about it, flop it all you want. And keep being the most exciting player in the game.