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New York-bound Porzingis hopes to turn boos into cheers

/ 01:51 PM June 26, 2015
Kristaps Porzingis, right, poses for a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected fourth overall by the New York Knicks during the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 25, 2015, in New York.(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Kristaps Porzingis, right, poses for a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected fourth overall by the New York Knicks during the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 25, 2015, in New York.(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

When Latvian mystery man Kristaps Porzingis’ name was called in the 2015 NBA Draft, a slew of boos from the rowdy Knicks fans enveloped the Barclays Center.

But for the 6-foot-11 forward, what’s more important were those who cheered.

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“I think a lot of fans were still cheering when a lot of fans were booing. I think the Knicks fans will boo whoever got drafted,” he said via Cisco Telepresence on Friday.

Though many fans were dismayed in his selection, Porzingis made it clear that he’s willing to show his wares and silence his doubters when he wears the orange and blue jersey of New York.

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“It’s a dream to play for the Knicks,” he said. “I wanted to be here. I wanted to be on the big spotlight. The fans are harsh sometimes, but it’s something I have to prepare for and whatever happens, I have to stay calm and keep my work ethic and mentality and I’ll be fine in the long run.”

Porzingis said that he’s actually fueled by those heckles, saying, “Obviously, I could use that negative energy and put that in work and use it as motivation, prove to those guys that I’m worthy of being a Knick and hopefully one day, turn them to cheering fans.”

If there’s one thing he wants the New York fans to know about him, it’s that he’s nothing but a tireless workhorse.

“One of the things that will definitely help me is my passion for the game. Whatever beginning of my career is, even if I don’t play, I have to stay focused and keep working. I know my moment will come. That’s the thing that will help me in the long run for sure,” he said.

And his most awaited treat for him for getting drafted? The keys to the Knicks practice facility.

“I’m looking forward to it. Unlimited access,” quipped Porzingis. AU

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TAGS: Draft Day, Kristaps Porzingi, NBA, New York Knicks, Sports
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