PHIL Jackson has a way of motivating his players.
After the New York Knicks president compared his top draft pick Kristaps Porzingis to Shawn Bradley, the rookie said he was “fired up."
In a report by ESPN’s Ian Begley:
“I guess that’s what Phil does, gets guys to work hard and [get fired] up. That fired me up. ‘I’m like, I’m not Shawn Bradley, you know,’” the 7-1 Porzingis said on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time).
From his championship years with the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers, the man known as the ‘Zen Master’ is famous for using unconventional methods to bring the best out of his team.
“He knows what he’s doing,” said Porzingis, the fourth pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
“I want to be better than Shawn Bradley, obviously, and be stronger than him, but I’m a different player," he said.
In a recent interview, Jackson said he was worried that the height and (lack of) heft might affect the career of the lanky big man from Latvia, a situation similar to the reed-thin, 7-6 Bradley.
"Like Shawn Bradley, who was nevertheless a pretty good player, KP might almost be too tall for the game,” Jackson said. “What I mean is that his core strength might never be good enough, and that he might not be able to get low enough to get himself into prime defensive position to body power rebounders or drivers."
To address Jackson’s concerns, Porzingis has prioritized gaining weight and strength training over the summer. The rookie, who weighed 230 lbs during the draft, has added 11 pounds and is targeting to gain an additional four before training camp.
Twice a day, Porzingis lifts weights between on-court workouts and eats at least 5,000 calories per day.
“The basic thing (the Knicks nutritionist) told me was don’t ever have an empty stomach. If you eat after two hours you have to eat again. [Eat] yogurt, something in your stomach. So that’s what I’ve been following and I think it’s pretty successful. I'm gaining some weight,” Porzingis said.