Kristaps Porzingis has the highest usage rate of his NBA career (32.7 percent) along with an expanded role this season. There are few players doing as much for their respective team as Porzingis, especially with Tim Hardaway Jr. hurt. So it shouldn't be surprising that he would say he's
Porzingis met a surprising amount of backlash and skepticism to his comment. He drew questions on if he was mentally tough enough or ready for the superstar role that has been thrust upon him. On Friday, Porzingis clarified that his tired comments were about how he currently felt in relation to a back-to-back, and not about his role as a whole.
All I know is, of course, after playing a back-to-back everybody feels tired," he said. "If you don't feel tired, you didn't play hard."
"Of course, it's physically harder. That's something I was preparing myself for," he said Friday. "It's not something where all of a sudden (it) hit me. I've prepared myself for it and I have to be ready for it if I want to be the guy. There can't be any excuses made, whether it's so many minutes I'm playing or whatever it is."
Porzingis being tired isn't surprising. He might say that he's ready for it, and he's always going to play through it, but that doesn't mean the Knicks have to let him do it. Every organization aims to keep their star on fresh legs. Even though Porzingis hasn't rested much this season he could get more rest time in the future in some of the NBA's thinner air environments.
While there's no set plan in place to rest Porzingis, coach Jeff Hornacek said he may sit his star when they visit the high-altitude cities in Denver and Utah later this month. Porzingis, who was diagnosed with anemia as a teenager, has averaged just 14 points on 36 percent shooting in four previous games at those thin-air locations (all losses).
Porzingis' comments on being tired began with negative reaction, but they could turn into something positive for the star big man. If he has made Jeff Hornacek and the Knicks realize they're pushing their young star too hard they might make more efforts to get him some needed rest. That would be beneficial to both he and the Knicks long term -- especially if they're in a playoff race come April.