New York Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis’s work ethic has already caught the eyes of team higher-ups, reports Ian Begley of ESPN.com.
One of Porzingis’s goals for the off-season heading into camp was to put on 15 pounds of muscle. He has put on 11 pounds so far, lifting twice a day and eating around 5,000 calories.
“[Porzingis] wants to work, he wants to get better, he wants to be here in New York City and part of what we’re doing,” head coach Derek Fisher told ESPN. “We don’t have to ask him to do anything. He’s essentially the first one [at the team’s practice facility] every morning at 7:30 a.m.”
Team president Phil Jackson has also been impressed by Porzingis.
“We’re very pleased with his attitude, the way he approaches work, his appetite for it,” Knicks president Phil Jackson said of his top pick on Friday.
“He’s been very receptive to the work it takes to become an NBA player, strength training, trying to bulk up and do all those things,” Jackson continued.
Porzingis, 20, was taken by the Knicks with the fourth pick in the 2015 NBA draft out of Latvia.