The New York Knicks selected Latvian center Kristaps Porzingis on Thursday with the No. 4 pick in the NBA draft. As usual, Knicks fans reacted with a swift and merciless censure of the decision.
Grown men booed him. Children took selfies and cried. Porzingis, donning what appeared to be a red valet suit, barely managed a smile as he walked across the stage.
Immediately after being drafted, the seven-footer said, "I have to do everything that's in my hands to turn those booing fans into clapping hands." He's tried to learn about American culture—by diligently studying Worldstar Hip-Hop videos. And earlier this week he maintained that he, "wants the fear" of European draft picks, to "go away" with him.
Perhaps Knicks' fans fears are based in the fact that none of the last 16 Europeans drafted as lottery picks have become All-Stars. Perhaps their fear is rooted in the fact that their team is the Knicks.
Below is a sample of Twitter's reaction to the Porzingis pick.
PORZINGIS!!! THE KNICKSIEST PICK EVER.— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) June 25, 2015
The New York Knicks have clinched a spot in the 2016 Draft Lottery.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) June 25, 2015
Boos simply getting louder and longer at Barclays Center after Knicks take Porzingis.— Brian Mahoney (@briancmahoney) June 26, 2015
"He has a great sense of American culture," a Kristaps Porzingis teammate told me. "He goes on WorldStarHipHop every day."— Ben Cohen (@bzcohen) June 26, 2015
I'm done. I'm just done. I'm turning the draft off right now. I know Porzingis can play, but we don't see the next coming of Andrea Bargnani— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 26, 2015
Shockingly, one the sports world's most outspoken pontificators, had quite a reserved reaction.
I like the athleticism and 3-point shooting skill I see on tape from Porzingis in drills. But don't know enough about him to comment.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 26, 2015