It’s fun to compare NBA players, past and present. It often operates as a sort of shorthand for their skill-set and offers us a putative barometer for their future success.
When watching certain players, you can sometimes clearly see who they’re emulating and which past players they’ve modeled their games after. Kobe Bryant is probably the easiest example, but you can also see shades of Allen Iverson in a player like Kyrie Irving or how Kevin Durant is in some ways an evolutionary version of Tracy McGrady.
There’s a problematic tendency to always compare white players to other white players, but in the case of Kristaps Porzingis, it’s difficult not to trace his lineage back to another prominent Eastern European big man with whom he shares many similarities. As one of the original 7-footers with unlimited range, Dirk Nowitzki sees a lot of himself in the Latvian sensation, and he recently offered his thoughts on Zinger’s many talents and just how high his ceiling might be.