Andrejs Silins of Sportacentrs.com was on hand at the press conference.
Porzingis, 21, did not play for the Latvian national team either of the last two summers so that he could prepare for the NBA season. He averaged 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game as one of the few bright spots in a lost Knicks campaign.
Latvia, tied for 35th in the FIBA rankings, finished eighth in the 2015 EuroBasket tournament. Porzingis and Co. will have a tough time making it out of their pool, as they rank fifth among the Group D teams that will play in Istanbul beginning in August. Their group also includes Serbia (third), Turkey (eighth), Russia (ninth), Great Britain (22nd) and Belgium (44th).
"We are in super tough group in EuroBasket," Porzingis acknowledged, per Silins.
Playing in EuroBasket means Porzingis will spend most, if not all, of his summer away from the team in New York. Ian Begley of ESPN.com reported Porzingis skipped the Knicks' exit meetings over his displeasure with the franchise's direction—specifically its inability to form a coherent plan on the court or in the front office.
The Knicks have gone back and forth on their use of the Triangle offense each of the last two seasons and now appear ready to rebuild a summer after adding expensive veteran pieces (Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee).
Porzingis has developed into a budding star almost in spite of what's going on around him; spending a summer away could wind up being the best thing for him.
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