Kristaps Porzingis: ‘My Favorite Player Growing Up Was Kobe Bryant’
Kristaps Porzingis: ‘my Favorite Player Growing Up Was Kobe Bryant’
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Kobe Bryant has been the face of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise for almost two decades. The veteran guard has been around so long that most of the players he plays with and against on a nightly basis grew up watching and idolizing the superstar.

One of those young players in the league that likely had a poster of Bryant on his wall as a kid is rookie Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks.

After the two teams recently played each other and the Knicks came out with a 99-95 win, Porzingis told Mike Francesa of WFAN the Lakers were his favorite team and Kobe was his favorite player growing up:

“My favorite player growing up was Kobe. The Lakers were my team and I still love him.”

Porzingis received a lot of recognition heading into the draft in June after working out for teams in Las Vegas only a few weeks earlier. Many teams were leery of the international product with no one willing to take a chance on him or at least not publicly admitting they would.

The Knicks seem to have gotten a steal in the form of the versatile seven-footer with the rookie getting off to a hot start to his NBA career. Porzingis is averaging 13.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game in the 15 games he’s played this far for New York.

As for the Lakers, the team’s front office had an extremely tough decision to make once they were on the clock with the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. The franchise was able to avoid losing the pick to the Philadelphia 76ers by getting in the top five, but making the right choice after the Minnesota Timberwolves was no easy task for Mitch Kupchak and company.

A lot of prospects were linked to the Lakers with D’Angelo Russell, Jahlil Okafor, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Porzingis at the top of the list. Ultimately, the Lakers surprised everyone by going with Russell.

Unfortunately for Los Angeles, Okafor, Mudiay, and Porzingis have all played well in the first full month of the 2015-16 NBA campaign while Russell has slowly progressed.

It’ll be a few years before Los Angeles knows what they have in Russell, but so far, the Lakers may be starting to think they may have made a mistake in not taking a chance on Porzingis.

3 6 Latvia- PorzinGod- Zinger- The Unicorn. Best nicknames in the game?

  • Man Kobe can still ball but with lower minutes. Look at Tim Duncan he’s still productive with lower minutes. Scott is such a fool, JC Russell and Randle should be the focal points of the offense while Kobe only plays 20-24 minutes a game.

  • No wonder he’s a beast. Sure would rather have him than Randle and Bustell right about now.

  • Kobe should be a mentor/cheer leader for the new generation like KG but he is too stubborn. He wants to prove the likes of ESPN wrong but he is actually proving them right.

  • Last thing the league needs is another Ron Artest (on cam) incident. Looks like NOkafor will be suspended 10+ games per Sixers rumors aside of needing to dish out some dough to settle out of court.

    According to TMZ Sports, the unidentified man yelled, “The 76ers suck!”

  • Everyone ridiculed me here prior to the draft constanly commenting regarding drafting Zingis and unfortunately everyone including the Lakers messed up . This kid is a once in a decade prospect with similar attributes as KD , think about this for a second , the Sixers reportedly offered our own pick plus their second first rounder or two 2nd’s in the past draft if we gave them the 2nd which meant Russell to Philly so either Okafor or Zingis plus lottery picks ! Another scenario if we kept the forth which would have meant Zingis !!! The luck of he Lakes since the Kardashian curse or Boss curse ,the Kbrick contract curse , nash curse , cry baby curse !!!!!!!

  • The real reason: besides TD having consistent help from coach and players from the start(maintaining chemistry)….TD has NOT averaged MORE than 32 minutes in the LAST 7 SEASONS

  • Im actually curious how Rondo-JC-Kobe-Randle-Porz lineup will fare against the current starting lineup of the lakers…

  • Lakers can draft Porz at 2…anyway, Dlo has been chosen because he torched the net in his 2nd workout in LA(predraft,I read this article here too after the past season)

    Im thinking that the lakers wanted to monitor Porz by letting him stay there for a few days(article was realeased about this) ‘aybe the 2nd pick of the lakers is euther Dlo or Porz

  • Just shows he has a lot of growing up to do mentally. Now the fools who heckled both players will possibly be looking to get paid. Although, seeing the guy try to punch Jahlil from the back after he punched out his friend is funny.

  • Okafor was putting the Heisman on the dude while knocking out his boy. Nothing good happens after midnight, unless you’re getting laid.

  • No doubt he needs to handle himself as a professional, Artest & JR Smith status.

  • Looks like the vid (TMZ) also shows officers on the scene. Smart to go off and leave after lol.

  • Great! Kids these days. Hope he doesn’t end up with Cousin’s temper. Agree with you Jick , he should have handled himself in a professional manner.

  • Have to admit , had doubts with Porzingis inspight reports , but he has turned out to be making an impact with the Knicks , good for Phil.

  • Kobe his favorite player? Demand for a trade! Play for the Lakers! Nyahahahahaha!

  • True… but he’s also a big man who tend to fade harder and faster than players like Bryant.

  • Same here. Some dudes call me names for saying Lakers should trade down to get Zinger, for the exact thing you said. He’s a generational talent.

    I proposed sending out our #2 to get Zinger and another asset. That turns out to be the pick NY grabbed Grant with, but Hollis Jefferson would work with me. The dude is Draymond green without the shooting.

    Defense is what we need and those 2 woulda changed the whole atmosphere on that end. And I said Zinger was already a Bargnani on the offesive end.

  • that dude who jumped on his back punches like a girl anyways. Maybe he’s that KO’d dudes’ girlfriend.

  • trade nick young brandon bass ryan kelly and robert sacre all for porzingis.

  • I preferred Okafor over Porzingis but I can admit now I would take him over Oak in hindsight; but I’ve said it many times that this draft is not elite type for point guards and I would have taken Porzingis over Russell without hindsight.

  • Guys since it’s Thanksgiving today I wanted to give back something to you Faker fans.
    Some of you guys are missing the proper avatar so here it is!

  • i feel bad for you, you’re trolling on thanksgiving night wanna come over and eat some turkey?

  • KPo was the player would should have gambled on. Traded Randle in the process. I still think Russell will become a star just going to take a coach change and mamba to retire.

  • I trip off all you hindsight flip floppers? No one was really feeling Porzingis in the top 5, and def not at #2. Okafor and Russell were consensus top 5 picks. Zinger was a long shot and let’s not act like any Knick fans were happy about the pick on draft day. #Booooooooooo!!!!!!!

  • Yup not a lot of people thought he’d turn out to be an impact in his rookie season. And he looks to be working out in the gym , doesn’t look like that skinny rookie when introduced during draft day.

  • No one was really feeling Porzingis in the top 5? Actually you are wrong on this. Go search on Google where NBA GM asked “Are you sure he’s not the No. 1 guy?” before the draft. Even I said that we should take him if Towns is gone. Heck, I would be happy if we pick Okafor at 2. Russell doesn’t show the determination to become great like Kobe or even Clarkson. He is way too passive on the floor. If I were Kobe, I would smack him in the head and tell him to wake up!

  • Just went to nba com saw the article called rookie ladder, the pick 1,3 and 4 are all the top 10 list but no pick 2. I am not worried but hope the FO have do the right decision.

  • you guys really dont know how funny you sound when you try and trade sacre and kelly like if teams are interested in them

  • Most felt the same as our FO about Zinger. He was seen as a risk due to being a less seen prospect who didn’t compete against his peers from the NCAA. He was projected 4-7 at best in most mock drafts.

    Hindsight crying is my point. I wanted Okafor and made that known from the jump. We got Russell. Most were cool with the pick on draft day. I’m not gonna cry just because the three big’s are showing better after 15 games.

  • he has a point…..
    Russell cannot play lazy like tmac his fav player all time.
    he has to show assertiveness.
    or he wont win fans over like myself and others…

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