Porzingis enjoys underdog status ahead of new season: 'I like being doubted'

2022-09-24 10:30

Kristaps Porzingis says games with the national team help him get into the season quickly and have a good rhythm right away.

Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP-SCANPIX
Credit Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP-SCANPIX

Entering his first full season as a member of the Washinton Wizards, Kristaps Porzingis feels confident in the team. And as for how it compares to the rest of the talent in the Eastern Conference, being an underdog is something he enjoys.

Porzingis was asked on the media day press conference if he takes it personally that some experts overlook the Wizards.

"Honestly, I like it because if the expectations are already high and you get there, okay you're supposed to get there, but our expectations are lower, not internally but from the outside, so I think we are in a good position to prove everybody else wrong," he responded.

Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps  Porzingis
Position: PF, C
Age: 27
Height: 221 cm
Weight: 109 kg
Birth place: Liepaja, Latvia

"I enjoy being in this kind of position. I like being doubted. And I think we're in for a good year," he added, later stating he is looking forward to exceeding expectations and making some noise.

Porzingis' main focus heading into his first summer after joining the Wizards at the trade deadline last season was his body.

The former All-Star missed 31 games last season, most of them, because of a bone bruise in his right knee.

Porzingis hasn't played more than 57 matches in a season since 2016-17.

Being a part of the Latvian national team for the first time since FIBA EuroBasket 2017, helped the big man to get into a game rhythm early and test his new body developments throughout the off-season.

"I had a great opportunity in August to play with the national team and get a rhythm," Porzingis said. "The last time I played in the national team was 2017 and then I went into my third year with the New York Knicks.

I think these high-level competitive games during summer help me get into the season quickly and have a good rhythm right away. I had a long and great summer.

I feel great physically. I worked on my body a lot this summer. I am expecting big things for myself, staying healthy and consistent on the court."

Coach Wes Unseld Jr. said Tuesday the 27-year-old Latvian is beginning the 2022-23 season playing without any restrictions.

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