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New York Knicks coach Fizdale visits Porzingis in Latvia

Fizdale traveled to Porzingis' home country of Latvia to get to know the franchise player and to see how his rehab from major knee surgery is progressing. Porzingis tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Feb. 6 and isn't expected back until December.


Reuters Last Updated at 28 Jul 2018, 01:07 IST United States

New New York Knicks coach David Fizdale went a long way to meet with All-Star forward Kristaps Porzingis.

Fizdale traveled to Porzingis' home country of Latvia to get to know the franchise player and to see how his rehab from major knee surgery is progressing. Porzingis tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Feb. 6 and isn't expected back until December.

"The NBA is a small world and you kinda know people from afar," Fizdale told Latvian television network LSM. "But this trip is more about getting to know him intimately. Know his family, know where he's from, kinda get to see what made him 'Kristaps.'"

In addition to establishing rapport, Fizdale was highly interested in hearing about the knee as well as describing his preferred style of play for the team.

"We've talked about his rehab. We've talked about how we want to play, our style of play. Talked a lot about the culture that we're building," Fizdale said. "We wanna make sure that he comes back strong and healthy and we don't want to rush it. We've had some really good conversations."

Fizdale and wife Natasha enjoyed walking the streets of Porzingis' hometown, Liepaja, located on the west coast of Latvia, with Porzingis and his older brothers, Janis and Martins.

"That's what's been great about this trip," Fizdale said. "You can dive right into it and really get to feel the culture and see his basketball world. See how people treat him in the city."

Adding to the importance of the visit is that Porzingis skipped his exit meeting with the team after last season due to his frustration with the drama permeating the franchise.

The 7-foot-3 Porzingis, who turns 23 on Thursday, also is eligible for a five-year, $157 million contract extension. Talks haven't progressed and may not until after Porzingis is recovered from the ACL tear.

Porzingis averaging 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 48 games prior to his injury.

He has averages of 17.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in three NBA campaigns.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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