Kurt Rambis compares Kristaps Porzingis to Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol

Porzingis enters New York with some big expectations.
David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

Some fans have insanely high expectations for 2015 fourth-overall pick Kristaps Porzingis. Some have gone in the other direction, thinking little of the Knicks' first-rounder. Well, here's some fuel for the former group, courtesy of Knicks associate head coach Kurt Rambis.

From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

Why don't we all slow down the Zinger Train for just a second? The Knicks are putting an awful lot of pressure on him with all this hype.

Of course, it would help to know the question Berman asked Rambis so we could get some idea how the comparison came about. Did Berman lead it on? Did Rambis bring it up out of nowhere and did Berman counter with a followup? For the sake of argument, let's assume Rambis came up with the comp organically. 

Maybe that's a good thing he thinks so highly of KP and decided to tell the world about it. Maybe he needs the externally positive motivation and encouragement. Or maybe it's the opposite. It's impossible to know from the outside. But even KP's biggest supporters would tell you comparing him to the two best European players of all time is somewhat unnecessary before he's ever even played his first preseason game.

(h/t NBC Sports for the find))

Perhaps the most successful European big men in recent times are Gasol, whom Rambis coached, and Nowitzki.

“He might be a combination of both of them,’’ Rambis said. ‘He can do so many things. You guys haven’t seen it yet. And some of it won’t come out for three, four, five years either. He’s got to grow up, mature, develop, get stronger and [get] used to the NBA game. He already understands basketball and knows what to do, and he’s an unselfish player. He makes really good decisions. It wasn’t like he was a blank slate coming here.’’

Aside from his intensive work ethic, Porzingis also has an unprecedented gift.

“He’s got 3-point range — like effortless 3-point range, too,’’ Rambis said. “It’s not even hard for him to shoot for distance.’’

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