For Kristaps Porzingis, the most difficult part of sticking to the plan for his comeback comes when he steps into his closet before heading to the arena for Dallas Mavericks games.
"Oh my god, that's the hardest thing for me to wake up on game days, go through shootaround with the team and then have to pick a suit to wear for the game," Porzingis told ESPN in his first sit-down interview since the New York Knicks traded him to Dallas in early February. "I'm like, 'I don't want to do this anymore.' It's the toughest thing for me. I hate my suits. Not that I hate the suits, but I hate picking them for the game day.
"It's so weird that I'm not able to -- I am able to, but I'm not playing yet. It's the game day, and I feel like it's the game day, but you just pick a suit and you wear it and you're there. And I try to be in the moment when I'm there with the team and help as much as I can without being able to be on the floor, but it's very, very, very tough. Tougher than I expected."
Porzingis has fully recovered from the torn ACL in his left knee suffered on Feb. 6, 2018 and has resumed full basketball activities with the exception of playing in games. He said he feels great mentally and physically and has better athletic-test results -- more power generated, more explosiveness, better lateral movement -- than he did before suffering the injury.
However, Porzingis will not play until next season, following the plan he agreed to over a year ago in consultation with his most trusted advisors -- including his older brother and agent, Janis Porzingis, and physical therapist, Manolo Valdivieso.