On Saturday afternoon, Washington Wizards forward Kristaps Porzingis and guard Ish Smith were introduced to the D.C. media for the first time since the NBA trade deadline. Here is what both had to say.
Porzingis was introduced first. He learned about the trade after being in a hyperbaric chamber and received a call from the front office of the move. It’s unclear if he got a call while ordering at a sandwich shop, presumably after being in the hyperbaric chamber, but these kinds of calls happen at any time.
Saw Kristaps get traded the go get a sandwich pic.twitter.com/Rr4HF7qEvk— Jake from State Farm (@jacobaderich) February 10, 2022
While it is always sad to leave a team and city, Porzingis was excited to be in Washington where he could be a more featured player this season. He answered a question by David Aldridge of The Athletic about an ideal role, saying that he would like to be playing both inside the paint and in the perimeter.
Like former Wizards forward Davis Bertans, Porzingis is Latvian. When asked about Bertans, Porzingis acknowledged that they spoke and have a common goal to prove that they can do better with their new teams, Bertans for the Mavericks and Porzingis for the Wizards.
Finally, you may not know this, but Porzingis is a Washington Commanders fan! Maybe we’ll see him at FedEx Field sometime this fall.
Smith was next to speak. Since he was here last season, he felt that in many ways, he never left.
That said, the Wizards roster now is different from the one he was on last year, when Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal were starting and played most of the team’s backcourt minutes. This time, he may be their starting point guard for the rest of the season because Westbrook is on the Lakers and Beal is out for the season due to a wrist injury.
Smith was quick to compliment Raul Neto and his consistency last season, which Smith said was critical for them to make the playoffs last season. Smith was also able to say all of the numbers he wore for 12 teams in his NBA career, tied for the most in history.
Welcome to D.C. KP and welcome back Ish!