Kristaps Porzingis admitted he nearly requested a trade after a dismal performance last season. But a coaching change and a personal visit from Jason Kidd helped change his mind. Here’s how the Latvian feels about the upcoming NBA season.
Kristaps Porzingis on his poor performance
Porzingis knew he could have done better last season. His performance disappointed fans and Porzingis. It’s not a secret KP was displeased with the role the Mavs expected him to play and blames it for his underwhelming performances.
“I was used a lot as just a spacer and shooting threes and I feel you know that’s not my whole game, you know. There’s more things to my game but yeah I learned a lot of things. I adjusted my game as I needed to but um you know I’m looking forward to being being utilized the best the best way.”Kristaps Porzingis, Fanatics View
A new head coach and coaching staff and a new general manager in town brought the much-needed changes that KP thought the team needed. He changed his mind in requesting a trade. Kidd personally visited him in Latvia to check on his life off the court. The gesture proved to be crucial as it sent a strong message to Kristaps that he was very much part of the future of the Dallas Mavericks. Kidd showed he learned from his previous coaching mistakes and put emphasis on communication and chemistry.
The most important moment for KP’s expectations must’ve been Jason reminding Luka Dončić to “that he can rely on his teammates, and his teammates are going to be there to help him.” In translation, as excellent as he is, Dončić sometimes has to let other players dictate possessions, and the other max guy on the court is the first in line for the ball.
Luka seemed to be receptive, saying Kidd is correct and that is one of the areas he has to grow on the court. That had to have been music to Porzingis’ ears.
KP’s new role in Dallas
Before getting injured, the New York Knicks version of Porzingis displayed an array of offensive arsenal: hook shots, post-ups, 3-pointers, and dunks. After his lengthy recovery and nagging injuries that followed KP, some rust was to be expected. But now that he is healthy and rested, Porzingis shares that he hopes to showcase some parts of his games that he did not get to show last season.
Sideline Sources reported that head coach Jason Kidd would not limit KP to shooting 3s, which Rick Carlisle did last year. Porzingis was basically PJ Tucker, standing in the corner waiting to launch a three.
A change in the coaching staff and roster upgrade doesn’t automatically mean a deep playoff run for the Mavs. They are still at the experimenting stage with the new players and a new system in place. What’s important is getting everybody on the same page to achieve a common goal. Kudos to KP for admitting what he could have done better, putting in work in the offseason, and trusting the vision of their new coach.
It’s time to turn words into consistent action on the court.