James Worthy: Kristaps Porzingis a combination of Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant


As per Marc Berman of the New York Post, New York Knick‘s rookie Kristaps Porzingis is drawing high praise from an NBA great.  James Worthy, a 3x NBA champion, NBA Finals MVP, and 7x All-Star is comparing Porzingis to some modern greats.

"“He’s a freak of nature. He’s a combination of Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant. It’s a good pick for the Knicks.’’"

Of course…with Porzingis being a seven-foot (7’3″ to be exact) jump-shooting European, he would be compared to Dirk Nowitzki. If Porzingis came anywhere close to Nowitzki, it would be a dream come true for all Knick fans. A resume consisting of being a NBA champion, NBA Finals MVP, NBA MVP, and 13x All-Star.

Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban believes that Porzingis actually has a leg up on Nowitzki. Cuban states that Porzingis won’t have as much as a culture shock compared to Nowitzki, and does not face the same expectations as Dirk did.

"“Dirk didn’t have any time to develop. He didn’t know the language, people were expecting him to have an impact right away. He got drafted ahead of Paul Pierce. He had no time to develop. [But] as far as the Knicks, I don’t care.’’"

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Given the debacle that just occurred with DeAndre Jordan, it is hard to blame Cuban for being so salty. Although a former-Maverick assistant coach; who saw first-hand how Nowitzki developed, does see the similarities between the two international players. Scott Edward Roth also sees the difference between Porzingis and Andrea Bargnani, whom Knick fans are afraid Porzingis might end up being, as per Ian Begley of ESPN.

"“I coached Andrea for two years, and he’s one of my better friends,” “I’m probably one of the few guys he ended up trusting as a coach. They [Porzingis and Bargnani] are different players. [Bargnani] is a good player, but I think Zinger’s desire to be great, the work to fight through adversity, his toughness, is what will separate him.”"

What is perplexing is that Worthy sees Durant’s game in Porzingis. One similarity between Porzingis and Durant is that both came into the league very under-weight for their size. Durant was listed at 215 lb. as per Draft Express. Porzingis is currently listed at 230 lbs. as per Draft Express. Although Porzingis is six inches taller than Durant, yet only 15 lbs. heavier… Needless to say Porzingis will need to hit the weight room.

As previously stated, it would be a dream come true if Porzingis came anywhere to such morden NBA greats as Nowitzki or Durant. Let’s all hope Porzingis can reach such worthy expectations. Porzingis had a solid outing in his first NBA action in the Summer League. Porzingis finished the game with 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 18 minutes of play.

Next: Derek Fisher: Kristaps Porzingis Plays a Strong Game

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