— 120 Sports (@120Sports) January 25, 2016
When the New York Knicks announced that they were taking little-known Latvian center Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 4 pick in last summer’s draft, they made a little boy cry. Midway through his rookie season, that same little boy, along with Knicks fans everywhere, has changed his tune as the 20-year-old has quickly emerged as one of the top two candidates for Rookie of the Year – as well as a surefire franchise cornerstone for the future.
And folks in New York aren’t the only ones who’ve taken notice. Another ultra-skilled 7-footer had high praise for the Knicks’ rookie sensation when speaking to reporters Monday. Prior to the Thunder’s Tuesday night game against the Knicks, Kevin Durant likened the 20-year-old to a mythological creature:
“He’s like a skilled player,” Durant said. “He can shoot. He can make the right plays. He can defend. He’s a 7-footer that can shoot it all the way out to the three-point line, and that’s rare. And [he can] block shots. That’s like a unicorn.”
“Unicorn” is a slang term that’s become popular in Silicon Valley to describe billion-dollar tech startups, and though he’s a long way off from that sort of valuation, Porzingis certainly has the look of a solid investment that will pay enormous dividends down the line.