We’ve all been that young kid pogo-sticking off the living-room couch to soar toward a child-sized hoop and dunk the ball with reckless abandon. This usually happens while petrified parents watch to make sure nothing breaks. That’s also how Latvian-born potential NBA lottery pick, Kristaps Porzingis, fell in love with the game.
Porzingis’ older brothers played and were an immense influence on him. He wanted to fit in like younger siblings tend to while watching their elders, but Kristaps’ love for the game came naturally. As younger brothers often do, he eventually surpassed his kin, and his superb game has cut a path straight toward the Association — just a year later than many expected.
Porzingis almost came into the NBA last season after spending two weeks at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas honing his craft. He eventually decided he needed more seasoning and withdrew his name just days before the deadline. That decision seems to have worked out. We recently had a chance to catch up with Porzingis, who isn’t a household name yet, but has all the tools to become one. He’s engaging, funny and even sent us on a mission for the name of a Latvian rapper turned comedian… Gatis Kandis.