|Full Name:||Kristaps Porzingis|
|Nickname:||The Unicorn, Zinger, KP6, Porzingod|
|Place of Birth:||Liepaja, Latvia|
|Parents:||Tālis and Ingrīda Porziņģis|
Kristaps Porziņģis is a Latvian NBA player who currently players for the Dallas Mavericks. At 7-3, he’s one of the tallest players in the NBA. However, he’s one of the rare seven-footers who is comfortable playing away from the basket and is a competent shooter, drawing favorable comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki.
At a young age, Porziņģis was diagnosed with anemia but was able to overcome it to become one of the best young players in Europe at Spanish club Sevilla. Porziņģis was an instant success in the NBA after the New York Knicks made him the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. He was an all-star for the first time in 2018, only to suffer another setback when he tore his ACL.
During his time with the Knicks, Porziņģis experienced tension with the team, which ultimately led to him being traded to the Dallas Mavericks before he fully recovering from his ACL injury. However, Porziņģis began to come back strong from his injury as a member of the Mavericks before the 2019-20 season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Kristaps Porziņģis began playing basketball when he was six years old. By age 12, he was accompanying his older brother, Jānis, who played professionally in Europe, to training sessions. Until he was 15, Porziņģis played competitive youth basketball for BK Liepājas Lauvas, a club in his hometown of Liepāja, Latvia.
In 2010, he signed a contract with Spanish club Sevilla despite struggling with fatigue during the tryout.
Soon after that, Porziņģis would be diagnosed with anemia but has been able to overcome the illness.
After one year with the Sevilla B team, Porziņģis made his pro debut in Liga ACB during the 2012-13 season. Despite a rough first season, Porziņģis began to blossom during the 2013-14 season, averaging 16.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game for Seville. He initially declared himself eligible for the 2014 NBA Draft and was considered to be a likely lottery pick. However, he pulled out shortly before in favor of another year in Europe to develop his skills.
During the 2014-15 season, Porziņģis continued to improve, standing out most in EuroCup play. He was named the EuroCup Rising Star of the season and would later be named to the ACB All-Young Players Team for the second straight year.
Once again, Porziņģis declared for the NBA Draft, staying in this time amidst speculation that he could be a top-five pick.
Porziņģis was 19 years old when the New York Knicks made him the fourth overall selection in the 2015 NBA Draft. He was booed by Knicks fans on draft night but didn’t need much time to start changing minds, scoring 16 points in his NBA debut. Porziņģis went on to start all 72 games he played in during his rookie season, averaging 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Those numbers put him on the NBA All-Rookie Team and made him Rookie of the Year runner-up to Karl-Anthony Towns.
Over the next two seasons, Porziņģis would continue to blossom into one of the NBA’s brightest young stars. Despite a lack of team success, Porziņģis was one of the bright spots on an otherwise dim Knicks roster. During the 2017-18 season, Porziņģis was averaging 22.7 points and and 6.6 rebounds through his first 48 games, earning him a spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star Team. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn ACL during a February 6 loss to the Bucks, ending his season.
While Porziņģis was still rehabbing his injury in October 2018, the Knicks declined his rookie extension, which freed up cap space for them for the free-agent class of 2019. That decision caused friction between Porziņģis and the Knicks, giving the team the impression that he was interested in leaving New York. In January 2019, with Porziņģis still sidelined by the ACL injury, the Knicks sent him to the Dallas Mavericks in a seven-player trade that also saw Trey Burke, Courtney Lee, and Tim Hardaway Jr. join the Mavericks.
Despite not playing at all during the 2018-19 season, the Mavericks signed Porziņģis during the summer of 2019 to a five-year deal worth the maximum of $158 million. After making his return to the court at the start of the 2019-20 season, Porziņģis quickly got back on track with his new team. In his first 51 games with the Mavericks, he averaged 19.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per game before the NBA season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2020, Kristaps Porziņģis had an estimated net worth of $12 million. However, that figure is likely to grow in the years to come after signing a max contract with the Dallas Mavericks in the summer of 2019. He has also signed several endorsement deals, including one with sports drink Bodyarmor that Porziņģis just a few months into his NBA career.
In October 16, Porziņģis switched shoes brands from Nike to Adidas with the latter giving him the most lucrative shoe deal ever given to a European player. Between his contract and endorsements, Porziņģis should have no problem surpassing $200 million in career earnings one day.
Kristaps Porziņģis signed a four year, $18.6 million deal with the New York Knicks in 2015.
Kristaps Porziņģis signed a five-year, $158 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks in 2019.
Porziņģis comes from a basketball family. His father played semi-pro basketball and his mother was on the Latvian youth national team when she was young. His older brothers Jānis and Mārtiņš both played with Jānis having a 14-year pro career in Europe.
Sadly, four years before Kristaps was born, his parents had another son, Toms, who died when he was 14 months old.