New York Knicks Kristaps Porzingis
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Traveling to Latvia to meet with Kristaps Porzingis was a priority for New York Knicks HC David Fizdale. On Monday, it’s finally happening.

One of David Fizdale’s top priorities this offseason is connecting with his players and establishing a relationship. According to Ian Begley of ESPN, on Monday, Fizdale is off to Latvia to spend time with the crowned jewel of the New York Knicks franchise—Kristaps Porzingis.

KP has had clashes with the organization in the past. Think back to his no-show for his exit interview with Phil Jackson and Jeff Hornacek. It’s vital that Fizdale and Porzingis are in lockstep for the Knicks to find success.

Relationship building is somewhat of a concern for Fizdale. His unfortunate demise in Memphis was due in large part because his relationship with Grizzlies’ star Marc Gasol deteriorated. Conversely, It’s unfair to lay all the blame on Fizdale, but there’s no doubt that this was a major concern during the hiring process.

But it appears Fizdale is intent on learning from his mistakes. During the Eastern Conference Finals, the young head coach brought Frank Ntilikina, Damyean Dotson, and Emmanuel Mudiay to Boston to get a feel for the atmosphere.

No doubt, this went a long way towards building relationships with a youthful Knicks squad.

Porzingis won’t play in a majority of games next season—if he plays at all. But he remains the most crucial piece on a Knicks team desperate for a turnaround. On Monday, Fizdale took a step towards ensuring that he avoids the mistakes he made in Memphis.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.