Sometimes you just need to start over. Carmelo Anthony, with a relationship in tatters and a franchise not doing much better, hit the eject button and fled New York for Oklahoma; more salt in the wound for Knicks fans. The silver lining: Melo’s exodus paved the way for the rise of Kristaps Porzingis, who’s wasted no time putting his stamp on the league now that he’s the new sheriff in town.
— Basketball Reference (@bball_ref) October 30, 2017
Three years into his NBA career, Kristaps has finally arrived. Any time you’re the first player since Mike to do something, you’re doing something right (provided you’re not at a casino).
At 7’3, the little boy from Latvia is a proper giant. He’s roughly the same size that big ass building in Dubai.
Burj Khalifa (2,717 ft tall) – Dubai, United Arab Emirates pic.twitter.com/ZmJr2tDxt1
— AlluringArchitecture (@ArchitectureAce) October 30, 2017
He’s lankier than Kevin Durant, a person they literally call the “Durantula” because he’s built like a daddy long legs. KD’s put on some weight since his early days in the league, but he’s still 85% limbs.
— NBA 2017-18 (@NBA2017_18) October 7, 2017
It’s not just Kristaps’ altitude that makes him a problem. He can shoot. And his footwork is nice, too. He’s clearly been putting in the work. He said he wants to be an All-Star this year, and if the beginning of the season is any indication what’s to come, he’s a shoo-in.
The Knicks are going to be terrible again this year, but that’s not on Porzingis. Blame James Dolan and the Zen Master, heck, blame Charles Oakley if you want, but there’s no blood on Porzingis’ hands. You’d see it. Blood reads well on translucent skin.
Kristaps has one year left on his rookie deal before he can get paid. The $4.5 million he’s making this season is nothing to scoff at, but when James Harden and Steph Curry are getting $40 million a year, it puts things in perspective.
Porzingis’ distaste for the Knicks’ front office has been well-documented. He skipped his exit interview at the end of last season because they weren’t putting enough respect on his name. He’s ballin’ out this year, but best believe he hasn’t forgotten how he was treated when Melo was still in town.
The NBA has incentives in place to keep star players at home, which is why Curry and Harden were able to sign such lucrative extensions this offseason. Money isn’t everything, though.
Porzingis is going to get paid regardless of whether he stays in New York or not and based on the mobility coefficient of star players in today’s NBA, his days in the Big Apple are numbered.