Latvia Rumors

When the Spurs face the Knicks on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden, Bertans and Porzingis will make international history. It will mark the first time two players from Latvia have shared the floor in an NBA game. In sports-loving households from Liepaja to Valmiera, it ought to constitute must-see TV across the ocean. “It’s a big deal,” Bertans said. “In Latvia, there’s going to be people staying up all night to watch.”
O’Quinn attended Porzingis’ camps for kids last week in Liepaja, Porzingis’ hometown. Porzingis had extended the invitation (he and O’Quinn share the same representation) and the Flushing native couldn’t accept fast enough. “It really is amazing,’’ O’Quinn told The Post in a phone interview from Latvia this weekend. “Just when he walks on the court, puts his hand up and greets the kids and thanking them. It goes to show what this city, country, appreciates him, honors him and respects him and his family. This is a special thing. This doesn’t happen in the States. There’s just so many players coming from every state and city. In this city. It’s him. That’s it. It was great to be part of it.’’
If Knicks interim coach Kurt Rambis has his way, Latvia will be competing without its best player. Instead, Kristaps Porzingis will be busy lifting weights and working on his conditioning in Greenburgh, New York. “If I had my choice, I think it’s obviously what I would want,” Rambis said Friday after the Knicks’ practice at Georgetown University. “I understand players’ commitments to their country and their desire to play for their country. But from a selfish standpoint, looking at it purely from a Knicks standpoint, yeah, we’d want him here working with us the whole time [in the summer].”