It was a tumultuous day, filled with anticipation, speculation, and a whole lot of waiting for Kristaps Porzingis. Perched between the Boston Celtics' coach Joe Mazzulla and President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens on Thursday afternoon, he recounted the experience with a wide grin.
"It was a crazy day for me," he began, sharing his rollercoaster ride of emotions and the late-night confirmation of his move to the historic franchise. "I was about to go to sleep, and then I heard the news that the trade didn't go through, so that kept me up for a little bit longer," said Porzingis, recalling the suspense that filled the evening air.
Trade Uncertainty Gives Way to Excitement
But the uncertainty was not to last. When dawn broke, so too did the news that Porzingis had been hoping for - the trade to the Celtics was on. "Up in the morning, I saw that it happened, the trade happened," he said, his joy palpable. "I was just extremely excited and extremely happy." Porzingis' decision to pick up his $36 million player option, a move that facilitated the trade, was influenced by his desire to contribute to a strong, already established team.
He saw it as an opportunity to aid his future teammates while playing for an iconic franchise that exuded prestige. "[It was] an opportunity to play for a really good team already and be able to add to that," Porzingis elaborated. "And hopefully to help these guys, make their life easier, and being on a high-level organization like Boston, historic franchise, it made it extremely easy for me to make that decision."
A Maturing Star Eyes The Prime Years of His Career
At 28, Porzingis is striding into what he believes will be the most fruitful years of his career, armed with maturity both physically and mentally.
His diligent self-reflection and investment in his health are paving the way for his optimistic outlook on his future in the league. "I think these are the best years for a basketball player," Porzingis asserted, who celebrates his 28th birthday in August. "You are physically there, and mentally, you are getting to a different level.
I think the work paid off for me. I looked at my game, I looked at how I could be more efficient and just really analyzed myself, and it paid off last season, all the work I put in off the court to stay healthy." With optimism brimming, the Latvian star is looking forward to a bright future in Boston, promising fans some "great, high-level years" ahead.
His journey, starting with a restless night and culminating in a morning filled with exhilaration, has ushered in a new chapter in his career, one that he's ready to embrace with the storied Celtics franchise.
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