Kevin Durant Thinks That Kristaps Porzingis Is A Basketball Unicorn
January 25 / Tanya Ray Fox / SportsGrid
To be fair, Kevin Durant is by no means the first person to acknowledge that Knicks rookie and Latvian billboard king Kristaps Porzingis is a freak of nature when it comes to professional basketball. He is, however, the first to highlight the true mythology surrounding the young big man by referring to him metaphorically as a unicorn.
The 20-year-old phenom, listed at 7'3", is averaging 14 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game this season. Oh, and he can nail three-pointers and makes over 85% of his foul shots. So obviously the media wasted no time in asking Durant about Porzingis ahead of the Thunder's match up with the Knicks in New York on Tuesday.
Durant told ESPN that he admires Porzingis for being a smart, skilled player and not falling back on just being a jumbo-sized human.
"When they made the pick, I texted [Knicks head coach Derek Fisher] immediately and said 'I like this kid, he can play.' A lot of people were down on him, but he can play. He's a skilled guy and I think we've gotten away from enjoying skilled players in this league. We get so many players that are athletic and big and strong, but he's a skilled player.
He can shoot, he can make the right plays, he can defend, he's a 7-footer that can shoot all the way out to the 3-point line," Durant said. "That's rare. And block shots -- that's like a unicorn in this league."
That's high praise from one of the most skilled big men of all-time who, despite being listed at 6'9", is widely thought to be much closer to 7 feet. Porzingis certainly has all of the tools to become a similar kind of player to Durant. Back in November when the Knicks last played the Thunder, Durant was out with a hamstring injury and Porzingis scored just 7 points, so hopefully the two will share the court this time and we can all see two unicorns for the price of one.
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