How Porzingis, Doncic answered questions about their rumored beef

How Porzingis, Doncic answered questions about their rumored beef originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Among the most intriguing storylines for the 2024 NBA Finals will be Kristaps Porzingis’ return to Dallas.

The Boston Celtics big man played alongside superstar Luka Doncic on the Mavericks from 2019 to 2022. He was traded to the Washington Wizards at the ’22 deadline, ending a tumultuous tenure plagued by injuries, postseason shortcomings, and a rumored beef with Doncic.

Porzingis has admitted there was some tension between him and Doncic early on, but he also stated that the rumor of them not getting along was the “biggest misconception.” Still, Porzingis and Doncic’s complicated relationship remains a hot topic heading into Thursday’s Game 1.

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Former Mavs forward Chandler Parsons stoked the flames with his comments about the “beef” and Dallas fans’ disdain for Porzingis.

“Don’t get it twisted, they do not like [Kristaps] Porzingis in Dallas,” Parsons said on FanDuel’s Run It Back. “Luka [Doncic] did not like playing with him, there is an actual beef there where it’s going to be every time he touches the ball, he’s getting booed. …

“It didn’t work out and Dallas, for whatever reason, those fans, they’re (prideful). If you’re hurt, if you’re not playing, if you’re not doing what you were doing in the years before you got to the Mavs… When you go back and play that team you want to prove something, you want to show what they’re missing, the game has more juice to it. Now we’re talking about the NBA Finals.”

On Monday, Doncic laughed off Parsons’ claim that he didn’t enjoy playing with Porzingis.

“That’s why I don’t watch a lot of that. Because people don’t know,” he told reporters. “I’ve talked to Chandler Parsons maybe twice in my life, so I don’t know how he would know that. Me and KP have a good relationship. I don’t know why people say otherwise.”

Porzingis also was asked about the relationship, though he declined to get into detail.

“It didn’t work out,” he said of his time in Dallas with Doncic. “I’m not even thinking about that right now. I’m thinking about the job ahead. We can think about that later.”

With only two until the Finals tip-off, Porzingis is focused solely on getting back on the TD Garden parquet. The 28-year-old hasn’t played since Game 4 of the Celtics’ first-round series vs. the Miami Heat due to a calf strain. Just before Porzingis spoke with reporters on Monday, it was reported that he is expected to return when the series gets underway on Thursday.

Game 1 is scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. ET start at TD Garden. Coverage begins on NBC Sports Boston with Celtics Pregame Live at 7 p.m.

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