Michael Porter Jr. raised eyebrows Wednesday night during his post-game press conference when he complained about the Denver Nuggets not getting him enough touches. It was a bold public stance from a 22-year-old rookie. On Thursday, The Athletic's John Hollinger similarly raised eyebrows when he implied Porter had attitude issues that contributed to his fall in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Hollinger dropped this tweet, and you decide what he's trying to say:
Hollinger would know. At the time of the 2018 NBA Draft, he was working as vice president of basketball operations for the Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis had the fourth pick in that draft and you can bet they did a ton of homework on Porter, who was projected as a surefire top-five pick before he suffered a back injury at Missouri.
Until now, it was believed Porter's drop from potential top overall pick to the No. 14 selection in the first round was solely due to that injury. No one was sure what his recovery timetable would be and he wound up sitting out the entire 2018-19 season rehabbing after he had to undergo a second surgery. Porter even claims a doctor for the Los Angeles Clippers told him he'd never play basketball again.
I guess we shouldn't be surprised that a kid who was always one of the top few prospects in his age group might have some attitude issues. Porter certainly isn't used to not being the top option on the floor for his team at all times. But he has to grow up quickly and realize in the NBA no one on a competitive team wants to cater to a rookie's demands.