Dirk Nowitzki just paid high praise to the guy that will likely revolutionize what the stretch-4 is supposed to be able to do in the NBA.
The Dallas Mavericks legend says he has no problem with people comparing New York Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis to him, via ESPN.
“It’s more than fair,” Nowitzki said after his first game against Porzingis. “He’s probably way ahead of the curve. When I was 20, I was scared to death out there. … He’s almost averaging a double-double, so he’s way better than I was at 20. So the comparison’s probably unfair to me.”
Porzingis, 20, has been compared to Nowitzki often, carrying an even deadlier skill set on the perimeter. After a recent matchup, Nowitzki came away more than impressed, calling the rookie of the year favorite “for real.”
“He’s for real,” Nowitzki said after scoring a team-high 25 points for the Mavericks (13-9). “We’ve said it before. He’s tougher than you think. He’s long. He’s athletic. He can put the ball on the floor. … The sky’s the limit for this kid, not only because he’s good but also because I heard he lives and breathes basketball. He stays in the gym, he works hard and doesn’t let all this hype here get to his head. You’ve to root for him.”
Porzingis is averaging 14.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game for New York (10-12).