Kristaps Porzingis will get to live his dream on Feb. 18 when he suits up for his first All-Star Game of his career.
After getting drafted by the Knicks back in 2015, Porzingis pondered where his career would take him. Becoming an All-Star was always the goal for the 7-foot-3 Latvian, and now this thinking back when he was a kid doesn't seem so crazy after all.
"That's when you start thinking, what am I going to be capable of doing in my career?" Porzingis told Newsday's Al Iannazzone. "When I was 12 years old, if you think you're going to be an All-Star -- not just playing in the NA, going to be an All-Star -- you're a pretty crazy kid I would say.
"I'm just a kid from Latvia living a dream, playing in the NBA. I always want to stay hungry and I always want to keep growing and try to achieve the goals I set for myself. That's my mindset. I want to go get it."
Porzingis' brother Janis, who serves as his agent, always knew what his little brother could achieve. That is why he called Kristaps up to tell him the news before he saw it on TV.
Janis had pushed his brother to make the most out of his abilities since he was young, so this was a special moment for not just Kristaps, but the entire Porzingis family.
"It's special," Janis said. "It's a big honor to be in that group of players. Those are considered the best in this league and in the world. I think it's a milestone. He feels like he belongs to something now. We all have worked around him. He has worked and we have worked around him to accomplish those things.
"We were very, very happy about it. It was a happy moment for us."
With "making the All-Star Game" checked off his career to-do list, Porzingis is looking toward his next goal in making the playoffs. That trumps making an All-Star team any day of the week in his eyes.
"For sure. Definitely," he said. "Team is always No. 1, no matter what. That playoff experience would be very important for me at this point in my career."
Porzingis has become the Knicks' franchise player, and during this past offseason, Janis admits his brother wasn't ready to take over that role. That is why Kristaps didn't go on a summer vacation, or hangout before the season. Instead, he went back home to workout six days a week with two sessions put in per day.
"The work he put in this summer was very, very impressive," Janis said.
Kristaps added: "I felt coming in, I would try to be the best player I can be. It worked out that I had the opportunity to be that No. 1 option and I just had to be ready for the moment."
Though injuries have still plagued him this season, he did manage to break a Knicks record in his new role by notching 300 points in the first 10 games of the season. Now more than halfway through the season, Porzingis continues to grind to make the playoffs.
As for the rest of his career, Janis believes his brother isn't at his best, but he knows he'll reach that point down the road.
"It's going to take another two, three years to become what he's supposed to become," Janis said. "If he stays healthy, he's going to be there. He has everything else. He has the skill. He has the mental toughness. People can't get under his skin even though they try.
"Defensively, he's going to be the anchor. There's no question about it. Offensively, he's going to be such a threat in scoring, you really have to pay attention to him."
Porzingis currently leads the Knicks with 23.1 points, and the entire NBA with 2.33 blocked shots per game.