When he came over to the Dallas Mavericks as a part of their blockbuster trade with the New York Knicks, Kristaps Porzingis was always a longshot to suit up this season. Coming off ACL surgery last February, it made sense for the Mavericks to be cautious with their new star and with only nine games remaining on the schedule, Porzingis will officially not play this season.
“I try to be in the moment when I’m there with the team and help as much as I can without being able to be on the floor, but it’s very, very, very tough. Tougher than I expected,” Porzingis told ESPN’s Tim Mcmahon. “I’m not going to rush anything… I’m really proud of myself for staying this patient with the knee and taking my time. There hasn’t been a lot of cases of a 7-[foot]-3 guy tearing his ACL. The good thing about the injury is it was a contact injury. If it was not a contact injury, that would be much more dangerous for me. But it was a contact injury. That means my body mechanics are fine. Now what I’ve been doing is just getting better with them. I’ll keep doing that the whole summer, keep working on my body, keep strengthening my joints, my knees, my ankles, my posture, everything.”
“I can feel the progress already, so it excites me even more,” Porzingis said. “It makes me even more eager to be out there on the floor. But I’m going to stick to what I have to stick to, stay patient, and when I’m back, I’m going to be back to 110 percent. At this point, I’ve matured a lot. I’m like, ‘This is the decision I have in my mind, and it’s the right decision.’ I don’t feel the same way every day, but I stick to it.”
Patience has been a key for Kristaps Porzingis this season as he works to come back from his ACL injury. Though he won’t be able to play this season, this is obviously the right call with the future of both Porzingis and the Mavs in mind.
Porzingis figures to be an integral component to the next era currently being ushered in in Dallas. Prior to his injury, Porzingis was one of the brightest young big men in the game and should be an ideal complement to standout rookie Luka Doncic for years to come. Porzingis should be fresh for opening day next season when we first get to lay our eyes on the Latvian forward in a Maverick uniform.