New York Knicks‘ Kristaps Porzingis hears the MVP chants from MSG fans, but he isn’t thinking about the NBA’s top award.
The dominant play of Kristaps Porzingis is garnering legitimate buzz about whether he can become the second Knick in history — after Willis Reed in 1969-70 — to win an MVP award. Fans even started to honor Porzingis with chants of “MVP!” while he’s at the free throw line.
Despite all this, the 22-year-old tells Ian Begley of ESPN that he’s not thinking about being named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. He had other goals in mind preseason, and he’s sticking to them.
“I’m not thinking about that too much. I said my goals for the season were most improved player of the year. I felt like I had an opportunity also not exactly this year – I want to get it this year (but) in my career I think I have the opportunity to win defensive player of the year and also the all-star game is a goal for me individually. But all those things are going to come if we win games… so I’m happy as long as we’re playing this way.”
Porzingis isn’t used to playing winning basketball with the Knicks, so it’s no surprise that he’s finally happy. New York has won five of their last six games after an 0-3 start, and he’s the star of the show.
The MVP Award is a longshot for Porzingis this year anyway, and he’s smart enough to know that. It’s good that he’s focused on other things. Especially DPOY; most players his age wouldn’t care about that award.