New York Knicks president Phil Jackson compared Kristaps Porzingis to Shawn Bradley, prompting Porzingis to deny the comparison on Wednesday.
In an interview for a series of articles by ESPN.com, Jackson recounted his mind-set leading up to June’s NBA draft. The Knicks drafted Porzingis, a 7-footer from Latvia, with the No. 4 pick.
Porzingis reportedly added 11 pounds over the off-season, and he responded to the comparison to Bradley—the No. 2 pick in the 1993 draft and 1997 NBA blocks leader who played 12 NBA seasons—at a sponsorship event on Wednesday.
Yeah I saw it. I don’t know what to say? I guess that’s what Phil does, gets us to work hard and fired up. That fired me up. I’m like, ‘I’m not Shawn Bradley, you know?” Porzingis said, responding to a recent interview on ESPN.com where Jackson wondered if the Latvian was “too tall for the NBA” like the awkward 7-6 Bradley. “I want to be better than Shawn Bradley obviously and be stronger than him,” Porzingis added, “but I’m a different player.”