Kristaps Porzingis in the 2015 NBA Draft
Jun 25, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Kristaps Porzingis is escorted onto the stage with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number four overall pick to the New York Knicks in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Reuters/Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kristaps Porzingis, the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, is motivated in proving himself for the New York Knicks after Phil Jackson made comments that compared him to former NBA player Shawn Bradley.

Porzingis said that the Zen Master’s comments “fired him up”, according to a tweet from Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. Jackson is currently the president of the Knicks and had successful stints as head coach for the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Porzingis’ pick in the recent draft drew some criticisms of the New York franchise considering the 20-year-old Latvian is still raw and not pegged to be NBA-ready in his first year in the league. Some Knicks fans also booed their team’s selection during the annual draft.

Before joining the NBA, Porzingis played for Baloncesto Sevilla and Sevilla B in the Spanish basketball league. The young Latvian prospect was named the Eurocup Rising Star in 2015 and a member of the ACB All-Young Players Team in 2014 and 2015.

Porzingis, who signed a his rookie scale contract with the Knicks last June, played in four Summer League games for the team and averaged 10.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots per game.

Porzingis also represented the Latvian basketball youth national team and was selected as a member of the 2013 FIBA Europe Under-17 Championship All-Team selection. However, the big man passed on the opportunity to represent his national team in the on-going 2015 FIBA Eurobasket after the Knicks reportedly requested him not to join the tournament.

Bradley has played in the NBA from 1993 to 2005 and had stints with the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks. For his career, he averaged 8.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots per game.

During his time as an NBA head coach, Jackson is well known for his motivational tactics, including playing mind games with his own team and opponents.

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