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February 18, 2017

Kristaps Porzingis

New Orleans, Louisiana - Taco Bell Skills Challenge

Q. Kris, could you just take me through your strategy going into this and what happened on the final. It was obviously flawless, right?
KRISTAPS PORZINGIS: Before we started doing it, while I was doing the walk through, I knew that the pass and the shot on the three-pointer was the most important parts of that. And I was able to make the pass on the first try all three times. And then in the final, that last shot just went in. So just a little bit of luck.

Q. Now, first of all, I just want to congratulate you and all the big men out there.

Q. For two years in a row, taking the championship. But you're very modest, saying that it was luck. It wasn't any luck. You're skilled. So let's talk about all the Latvia kids right now that are screaming and saying, K.P., K.P. How does that make you feel?
KRISTAPS PORZINGIS: It's a good feeling that I'm able to showcase my skill with my size and show to the kids that you're capable of doing that even if you're tall and lanky like me. I think a lot of kids now growing up will improve those perimeter skills just seeing guys like -- I don't want to mention myself, but big guys with perimeter skills that can do it.

Q. And if you look at that trophy, it's getting bigger and bigger every year. So I like the fact that a big man keeps winning. Congratulations.

Q. Did you ever actually get a chance to practice that course, or did you just go in and just do it?
KRISTAPS PORZINGIS: I did a little walk through, not running, a little walk through the obstacles and just worked a little bit on the passing and shooting. That's it.

Q. When you knew you were going against Gordon in the finals, did you feel it might be a little tough?
KRISTAPS PORZINGIS: Of course, of course. Gordon is a skilled player, really fast too. So I knew it was going to be tough, but it's all about making that pass fast and making the shot at the end. But I knew I had a chance.

Q. Is this all fun and games, or does this possibly -- winning this competition possibly send a message to other players in the league?
KRISTAPS PORZINGIS: No, it's -- I mean, what kind of message? I don't know. I just -- I think it's more for the kids. Big men two years in a row are capable of winning the skills trophy. So I think it's more a message for the kids maybe.

Q. Two questions. One is, obviously, it's been a tough last couple months for you and the team. Does it feel good just to win something? You know what I mean? And as a big man, obviously, in the skills competition, the big thing was to hit the three-pointer, but were you more proud of actually beating Gordon to that spot?
KRISTAPS PORZINGIS: Yeah, the first one, the first question, it does feel good to win no matter what. Even yesterday, the rookie-sophomore game, it felt good to get a win.

And the second one, yeah, I tried to go as fast as I could. I think, when we scored the layup, I kind of cheated a little bit. I grabbed the ball before him because I'm taller, and I just kept running. I tried to go as fast as I can, but Gordon, obviously, if he really wanted to, he could probably catch me.

Q. Congratulations. If I could take you back to Brooklyn, the night you were drafted, I'd asked you if there was a countryman that inspired your game, and you mentioned Andris Biedrins. A few years have gone by. I wondered if you had been in touch with him or are in communication with him in any way?
KRISTAPS PORZINGIS: Not really. I met him right before the draft, before I came over, and I spoke to him a little bit. I met him a couple more times, but we haven't really been that much in contact. I actually should reach out to him. Thank you.

Q. Hi, K.P. Do you have any plan to take any other competition like slam dunk competition, three-point competition, in the future?
KRISTAPS PORZINGIS: Slam dunk competition, for sure not. Maybe one day three-pointers.

Q. Next year?
KRISTAPS PORZINGIS: Oh, no, I don't know. This league has too many like really good three-point shooters. If I feel like I can win, I'll participate.

Q. I just wanted to ask, so we are going to see you again to defend this title next year for the big men, right?
KRISTAPS PORZINGIS: I don't know yet. When next year comes, I've got to make a decision again. But I should defend this trophy for sure.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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