Kristaps Porzingis said that he used what he described as last season’s “external noise” as motivation during his off-season workouts.
Porzingis declined to be specific, but he seemed to be alluding to fan and media criticism of his play during last season’s playoffs, when the coaching staff decided to largely use him as an offensive decoy in an effort to create better floor spacing.
“I just used it as fuel to put in the work all summer,” Porzingis. “I’m excited to show it on the court.”
How excited? Tim Hardaway Jr., the Maverick who probably knows Porzingis best because they were teammates in New York before getting traded together to Dallas in 2019, said he has seen a much different Porzingis in pick-up games.
“I think what we have is something scary, but in a positive way,” Hardaway said. “That guy is ready to go. I have not seen a more focused KP in my whole time here, or as a teammate.
“He really wants to do whatever he can to make not himself happy, but the city happy. And let them know that [the Mavs-Knicks trade] wasn’t a wrong decision or whatever people would think.
“I know him. I know he’s going to go out and compete. . . “All I can say it ‘People, be ready.’”