Born in Liepāja, Latvia, Kristaps Porziņģis found basketball at the early age of six. His brother, a professional player in Europe, took him to offseason training sessions. He signed his first pro contract for a youth squad when he was 15 in 2010. Kristaps overcame his anemia to become one of the Liga ABC's rising stars. After five years in Europe, Kristaps declared for the 2015 NBA Draft.
The New York Knicks selected Kristaps with the fourth pick in the first round. His selection drew boos from many Knicks fans. He vowed to change their minds for them. In his rookie year, he made the NBA All-Rookie First team and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting. His second year saw a dramatic improvement of Kristaps skills. he won the All-Star Weekend Skills Challenge. On pace to his first All-Star selection, his 2017 season was cut short by a torn ACL. Unhappy with a failed rookie contract extension, the Knicks came to the decision to trade their franchise player on January 31, 2018.
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