February 24 was going to be a special night at Madison Square Garden for New York’s Latvians. The Knicks would celebrate their “Unicorn,” Kristaps Porzingis. He might be injured, but he is a big, big deal in Latvia. So Priekā!!
Then, the 7’3” star was traded. He had had enough of the Knicks and the Knicks were desperate to dump him before he became an issue. You know like publicly revealing the names of the four places he’d prefer to play, starting with Brooklyn, according to both the New York Times and RealGM.
The Gremlins over at the Garden moved quickly to erase the memory of Porzingis. So out went Latvian Heritage Night. In Dolan’s World, there’s nothing festive about Latvians.
But wait, don’t the Nets have a Latvian, or as Stefan Bondy wrote, could Brooklyn fill the “Baltic void” with Rodions Kurucs, who has been a revelation for the Nets this season after being drafted in the second round. The Nets in fact are 22-11 since the last time he received a DNP-CD and Friday night, he had a 10/5/4 night in the Rising Stars Challenge.
So Bondy, ever intrepid, caught up with Kurucs in Charlotte and asked about the Knicks decision. The kid was ready.
“I think Brooklyn will have one next year,” said Kurucs, a smile perhaps creasing his face.
Kurucs told Bondy he and Porzingis had been trying to get together. He told NetsDaily last June that the two had only met once and had never played on the same red-and-white national team. Nor with they this summer. Porzingis is still recovering from his injury and Kurucs told Bondy he’d likely work on his body in Brooklyn.
“When he was here we talked about it that we were going to go to dinner,” Kurucs said regarding Porzingis. “But then he got traded.”
And so? Where does he sit now in Latvian circles around here.
“When people ask me (about Porzingis being traded), I’m just answering that I’m now the king of New York,” Kurucs said with a smile. “I’m just joking.”
- There’s a new Latvian in town, and his name is Rodions Kurucs - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Rodions Kurucs on how his play style differs from Kristaps Porzingis - Marc Berman - New York Post