Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks is one of the most exciting young players in the NBA. He blocks shots like he’s 7-foot-3 (which he is) and dribbles and shoots like he’s 6-foot-3 (which he isn’t). He’s the original unicorn. He’s fun to watch and seemingly universally beloved throughout the NBA. That’s why it was so devastating to see him go down with a torn ACL.
Most NBA players would like to play with a guy like Porzingis; he’s the Knicks’ only attraction to free agents aside from “Hey, this is New York!”
Count Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving among players who would love to play with Porzingis. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Irving told Porzingis the following back in October:
“I told him, I would love to play with a big like you, man.”
Irving told Bondy a bit more about how he felt about Porzingis and his injury:
“It’s one thing that absolutely sucks — in sports and life sometimes — is going through injuries,” said Irving, who underwent his own knee surgery in 2016. “So I’m sending my well wishes to him. And great energy. That dude is so freakin’ talented. It’s tough, man. It’s tough.
“You just hope that mentally he’s able to jump over those hurdles. It’s tough coming back and knowing the process and kind of having that window that you’re trying to hit in terms of how long you have to wait in order to do certain things. But I know he’s always in the gym, he’s always a hard worker. So I wish Porzingis nothing but the best. …He’s so versatile”
Irving already plays with an extremely versatile big man in Al Horford, but Porzingis has about five inches on Horford and is a better rim protector, though he lacks the offensive playmaking ability that Horford possesses.