Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis announced he will play for the Latvian national team during this summer's European championships, but did not clear it with the New York organization beforehand, according to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy.
"Kristaps is in a position to decide for himself on playing for the national side," Porzingis' older brother and agent, Janis, said in Latvian, according to a transcript, when the 21-year-old Knicks forward was asked about New York's role in determining his status for the European championships.
Porzingis, who skipped his exit meeting with president Phil Jackson due to his reported displeasure with the team's handling of Carmelo Anthony, has not spoken with the team since. However, he expressed his will to be a Knick both in the short- and long-term future.
"My next focus is national team,'' Porzingis said, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman. "My third season is still far away. The main thing is to put in a lot of work during the summer to be ready, first for national team, then for next season. The European championships ends before the official NBA camp starts, so I have enough time to turn back to New York. I'll be there on time."
Porzingis, who averaged 18.1 points and 7.2 rebounds in 66 games last season, did not play for Latvia in the 2016 Rio Olympics, however he played in Latvia last summer.
When he did, the Knicks sent Director of Performance Mubarak Malik with him to provide him with a summer training program. Assistant coach Josh Longstaff also spent some time with Porzingis in Latvia last June, according to ESPN's Ian Begley.
Porzingis said he wasn't sure if the Knicks would send anyone to Latvia this summer.
Teammates Mindaugus Kuzminskas and Willy Hernangomez will also play in the European championships, playing for Lithuania and Spain, respectively.