Dirk Nowitzki was spitting praise and game all over Kristaps Porzingis during and after the Mavericks' road win over the Knicks on Monday evening. Apparently, the Porzingis worshipping didn't end with the best-shooting big man of all time, though. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle got in on the praise party, too.
Knicks fans at Barclays Center famously booed Porzingis when Jackson and the Knicks selected him fourth overall back in June's draft. Of course, that's long forgotten now. The rookie has averaged 14.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game while firmly planting himself as a top-two Rookie of the Year candidate alongside Karl-Anthony Towns.
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After another fantastic performance Monday against the Mavs, during which he went for 28, it seems like Kristaps could be a longtime star. If that's the case, then Carlisle is right. Taking him fourth was one heck of a selection.
“Porzingis is a special player, and the city of New York has Phil Jackson to thank for that one,” Carlisle said. “There were others that didn't have the balls to pull the trigger on that one, and he's a great young player who's got a chance to be truly special.”