Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Michael Porter Jr. to Miss Jordan Brand Classic (UPDATED)
NEW YORK — After earning MVP honors in the McDonald’s All-American Game and helping the U.S. to victory in the Nike Hoop Summit, Michael Porter Jr. will miss the Jordan Brand Classic on Friday in Brooklyn with a sore back, he told ZAGSBLOG.
Mizzou commit Michael Porter Jr. just told me he won’t play tonight in the @JordanClassic. Has a sore back. Was MVP of @McDAAG
The 6-foot-10 Porter Jr. sat out both Wednesday and Thursday’s practices here in New York. He put some shots up during breaks on Thursday at Terminal 23 and also chatted with former NBA great Ray Allen.
“It got tight over the Hoop Summit,” the 6-foot-10 Porter Jr. told me Wednesday after practice. “I was thinking about not playing in that game but I had to represent the country, you know. But out here, I’m just trying to get it feeling better. It just tightened up over at the Hoop Summit.”
Several dozen NBA scouts watched the West team beat the Porterless-East team, 84-75, in Thursday’s scrimmage. Michael Porter Sr., the player’s father and an assistant at Missouri, sat courtside.
Steve Turner, the Gonzaga College High School and East team coach, said Thursday he expected Porter Jr. to play.
“I expect Michael to play,” he said on The 4 Quarters Podcast coming Friday. “He’s a special player. Certainly we would love to have him on the floor on Friday night, and if I know Michael he’s going to find a way to get himself ready to go.”
The projected No. 2 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com, Porter Jr. was named the MVP of the McDonald’s game on March 29 where he went for 17 points and eight rebounds as the West beat the East, 109-107, in Chicago.
On April 8 in Portland, Ore., the Missouri-bound Porter Jr. went for 19 points as the U.S. beat the World, 98-87, in the Hoop Summit.
Since then he’s been busy recruiting players to join him at Missouri. Former Washington commit Blake Harris committed, while 6-8 small forward Kevin Knox visited and 6-10 former Illinois commit Jeremiah Tilmon is “really interested,” Porter Jr. said.
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.