Kristaps Porzingis is saying all the right things as he settles in for his debut season as a Boston Celtic.
During his introductory press conference in June, Porzingis said it was an "easy decision" to exercise his $36 million player option for 2023-24 and allow Boston to acquire him from the Washington Wizards. The Celtics landed the 7-foot-3 big man by sending Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies and the duo of Danilo Gallinari and Mike Muscala to Washington in a three-way deal.
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With just over three weeks until the regular-season opener, Porzingis hasn't changed his tune. During Celtics Media Day on Monday, he opened up wanting to be a part of Boston's winning culture.
"Honestly, I think it comes with age," Porzingis told hosts Eddie House, Amanda Pflugrad, and Marc D'Amico on NBC Sports Boston's Celtics Media Day stream. "I've been around the league a little bit and at the end, that's what matters is winning. I had different opportunities to go somewhere else and maybe have a bigger role and maybe even make more money, but I wanted to come here.
"I wanted to come to Boston just because of the opportunity to play in such an iconic organization with great players that are already here, that are very close. And hopefully I can come in here and bring more to that. That idea itself just was, I didn't need to hear anything else. Now that I'm here, it's an incredible feeling."
That's music to Celtics fans' ears, because Porzingis will be key to Boston's success in the upcoming campaign -- especially now that fellow big man Robert Williams is headed to the Portland Trail Blazers as part of the Jrue Holiday trade.
The biggest question mark for Porzingis is his health. Before last season, he hadn't played in at least 65 games since his second year in the league (2016-17) due to injuries. The Latvia native has already had some injury concerns this summer as plantar fasciitis kept him from playing in the 2023 FIBA World Cup. Although he provided a positive update on his foot injury on Monday, that's a situation worth monitoring when the season begins on Oct. 25.
Boston will open its preseason against the Philadelphia 76ers this Sunday.
You can watch the full exclusive interview with Porzingis below: