The New York Knicks are a franchise in turmoil. Lately, there has been nothing but negative attention focused upon them. It started with trade talk about one of its star players, Carmello Anthony. Then it continued with the Charles Oakley incident. However, there is someone that gives this organization positive light. That player is Kristaps Porzingis.
Kristaps Porzingis is a Latvian-born, 21-year-old rising star in the NBA. He burst onto the scene in 2016 with some amazing play. He is 7’3” tall and plays like he is 6’6.” He is smooth, agile, and brings the complete package. I had not done much following of this kid up until I watched the All-Star Skills Competition Saturday night. After watching his performance I had to go back and educate myself on this talented rising star.
Porzingis was born to play the game of basketball. His mother played on the Latvian youth national team and his father played semi-pro. Kristaps is the youngest of three boys and his two older brothers were both avid basketball players as well. It was in his blood from a young age to be a baller and that he has become.
Since declaring for the NBA draft in April of 2015, Porzingis has had a plethora of comparisons. He has been compared to the likes of Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, and Darco Milicic. Milicic may have been the least talented of three comparisons. However, Kristaps Porzingis has quietly made a name for himself.
Since his first appearance on the court, he has had a positive effect on the New York Knicks. His rookie season he finished second in the rookie of the year voting, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, and he was named 4-time Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month. He was nothing short of establishing himself as a rising star in the NBA.
Kristaps Porzingis has picked up in 2016-2017 where he left off as a rookie. He has set a career high in scoring and tied a career high in blocks. He also represented the Knicks in the 2017 All-Star Game and won the Taco Bell All-Star Skills Competition beating Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz.
The glitz and glamor of New York are no longer enough to get big names. The front office is going to have to build with youth through the draft. This kid may just be the right player build around. The New York Knicks may be mired in negativity but the light of Kristaps Porzingis shines brightly.