Kristaps Porzingis will not play for the Latvian national team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this summer, he announced at a press conference in Latvia on Monday, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.
The 20-year-old power forward missed the final seven games of his rookie season with the New York Knicks with a shoulder strain. At the end of the season he still had not decided whether to play in the Olympics, but Knicks coach Kurt Rambis was vocal about his preference that Porzingis not play.
“Players growing up today, they play too much,” Rambis said. “If I had my choice, it’s obvious what I want. But I understand commitment to country. From a selfish standpoint, looking at from a purely Knicks standpoint, we want him working with us.”
Porzingis averaged 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game for the Knicks this season.