New York Knicks president Phil Jackson took some criticism for drafting Kristaps Porzingis fourth overall in the 2015 NBA draft, but the Latvian power forward has brought some magic to the team.
In an appearance on SiriusXM Radio, Jackson offered plenty of praise for the rookie. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Jackson said:
“There’s a magical element to this young man that’s caught the admiration of the fan base and around the country who follow the Knicks. He’s got the right temperament, right attitude, carries himself well. He’s not getting the calls, [but] he doesn’t protest or get upset.”
Jackson continued, saying Porzingis has remained calm while learning the increased speed and physicality of the NBA game. However, Berman notes Jackson wouldn’t commend himself for the selection.
“It’s not me, it’s all on him. This is the young man that’s done it. You sit in those spots [in the draft] and analyze what you can do and have control of. … We made a choice, a logical choice.”
Porzingis has emerged as one of the league’s most popular young players, mostly because of his immediate production in the Knicks starting lineup. To date, he’s recorded 13.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
Additionally, the 20-year-old is already the subject of an ESPN promo overlayed with a soon-to-be massive-in-America Latvian rap song.
The Porzingis track has one of the top five beats of the year pic.twitter.com/TfBCatTuB2
— Adi Joseph (@AdiJoseph) December 2, 2015
There certainly is a bit of magic to Porzingis, and fans are hoping the 7-foot-3 shooter’s next trick is developing into a franchise-saving piece.
But that doesn’t need to happen during the 2015-16 season, let alone over the next couple years. Let’s try to enjoy the budding star before he carries the weight of Knicks fandom on his shoulders.