Washington Wizards big man Kristaps Porzingis is hoping a little less weight and getting stronger might be the remedy to help him finally play in 60 or more games for the first time since his sophomore year in 2016-2017.
For as talented as Porzingis is on offense as a lanky 7-foot-3 forward, there has been one thing that has dogged his career since he entered the league in 2015: Injuries. It was an issue when he was viewed as a basketball unicorn in his early days in the NBA, it knocked him out for all of the 2018-2019 season after tearing his ACL, and it is why 57 games are the most he has played in a season over the last three years.
The native of Latvia and the teams he had been on, including the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks, have tried all manner of sports science to keep Porzingis on the court. Yet, nothing has been effective long-term. With training camps for the 2022-2023 NBA season set to start next week, it seems that the one-time All-Star’s latest attempt at staying healthy is dropping even more pounds on an already slim physique and getting leaner.
Washington Wizards big man feeling strong ahead of 2022-2023 season
On Friday, the 27-year-old spoke to Washington, D.C. media and revealed that during a summer spent in Latvia, Spain, and playing in the FIBA World Cup, the former first-round pick looked to get stronger and ended up dropping seven pounds. He thinks the change in his body is in the best interest of his health and performance this season.
- Kristaps Porzingis stats (2021-2022): 20.2 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.6 BPG
One player looking forward to playing with Porzingis this season is Wizards superstar Bradley Beal. The two did not play together last season following Porzingis’ trade from Dallas, due to torn ligaments in Beal’s wrist. The three-time All-Star says he expects the big man to prove a lot of people wrong in the new season.
“He’s dangerous. He’s dangerous, man. I’m jealous I’m not 7-3. I’m a whole foot shorter, but I’m excited,” Beal said [h/t Washington Post]. “Because he’s a specimen. He’s probably the best big I’ll play with in my career — to see his size, his versatility, his ability to stretch the floor, spread the floor. His ability to pass is underrated. And his defensive capabilities are underrated, too; he’s another guy I think had a false narrative about him. I think he’ll prove a lot of people wrong. I’m excited to see.”
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.