Kristaps Porzingis (38 points) Highlights vs. Indiana Pacers
- February 6, 2020
- 3:13 PM
Kristaps Porzingis was born in Liepaja, Latvia, to Talis and Ingrida Porzingis. He comes from a family of basketball players. His father played semi-professional hoops and his mother played on Latvia’s youth national teams. Porzingis’ oldest brother, Janis, played for 14 years in multiple European national domestic leagues, and another older brother, Martins, played basketball in Latvia. Kristaps started to play basketball when he was six years old and later played in youth competition with BK Liepajas Lauvas in his hometown of Liepaja until he was 15 years old. In 2010, the Spanish club Baloncesto Sevilla recruited Porzingis for a tryout, aiming to add foreign talent to its junior squads. Porzingis began playing for Sevilla’s youth squad in 2012. In his second year with the team, he posted per-game averages of 16.6 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. When Porzingis made his NBA debut in 2015, he became the third Latvian-born player in league history. During his second NBA season, he began the KrisStops program, donating $500 for each shot he blocked to RENS, a New York youth basketball program. Porzingis also competed for Team World at NBA Africa Game 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa, as part of the Basketball Without Borders Africa program. Learn more about “The Unicorn” by following him on Twitter and on Instagram (@kporzee).
Kristaps Porzingis (KRIS-taps Por-ZING-is) was acquired by Dallas in a blockbuster seven-player trade with New York on July 31, 2019. He holds career averages of 18.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.9 blocks and 31.1 minutes per game in 286 games (285 starts) with New York and Dallas.
Porzingis (7-3, 240) was selected by New York with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft after beginning his career overseas with Spain’s Cajasol Seville. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team with the Knicks in 2015-16 and finished second to Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns in voting for the Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
As a 21-year-old in 2016-17, Porzingis became one of three players in NBA history, 22 years or younger, to make 100-plus 3-pointers and block 100-plus shots in a season (Dirk Nowitzki, 2000-01; Karl-Anthony Towns, 2016-17 and 2017-18). He was named an All-Star in 2018 but did not play due to injury.
Porzingis has earned Player of the Week honors twice in his career (Eastern Conference POW, Oct. 30 to Nov. 5, 2017; Western Conference POW, Feb. 24 to March 1, 2020). In 2019-20, “The Unicorn” became the fastest player to 400-plus 3-pointers made and 400-plus blocks in NBA history (233 games). He also became one of five players in league history to record at least 4,000 points, 1,500 rebounds, 400 3-pointers made and 400 blocks before his 25th birthday (LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Tracy McGrady, Towns). Porzingis has produced the only two games with at least 35 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks and five 3-pointers made in NBA history (37 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and five 3s vs. the L.A. Lakers on Dec. 12, 2017; 38 points, 13 boards, five blocks and six 3s at Minnesota on March 1, 2020).
A native of Liepaja, Latvia, Porzingis played in youth competition with BK Liepajas Lauvas until he was 15 years old. When he made his NBA debut in 2015-16, he became the third Latvian-born player in league history (Gundars Vetra, Andris Biedrins).