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Despite Doubters, Zen Master Believes Porzingis Can Help Make Knicks Respectable Again

There’s a reason why Phil Jackson owns 11 NBA titles — nine of them as a coach — and why the New York Knicks tabbed him in desperate hopes of resurrecting their morbid franchise.

Yet everyone from Carmelo Anthony to every Knickerbocker fan across all of Manhattan has seemingly ripped Jackson for his selection of Kristaps Porzingis with the team’s No. 4 overall pick in last month’s NBA draft.


But as quick as you can say ‘chill out’ where The Zen Master is concerned, Jackson might find himself again having the last laugh. In a pool that included Karl Anthony-Towns, Jahlil Okafor and DeAngelo Russell, Yahoo! Sports reports an unofficial polling of NBA GMs finds many of them rated the 7-1, 230-pound Latvian as the Draft’s top overall prospect.


It’s a reason why Knicks fans should carry at least some optimism surrounding the club’s outlook for the upcoming 2015-16 campaign. Last year, it was determined that tickets to Knicks home games at Madison Square Garden averaged $209.30, according to data gathered by Ticketbis, and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if that price went up next season, as Porzingis hopes to help usher in a brand new era of Knicks basketball.


Comparisons of the 19-year-old’s game range from being heralded as the next Kevin Garnett with Dirk Nowitzki’s jump shot, to the next Dirk Nowitzki with Kevin Garnett’s athleticism. Either way, it all could soon have Anthony eating his words for even suggesting that the Knicks and Jackson may have blew it in selecting Porzingis, who was a huge draw forBaloncesto Sevilla matches during his few years in the league.


After the Knicks stepped to the podium to announce that Porzingis was their man, Anthony ranted about how the pick does nothing much to help the team rebound from its 17-65 debacle of a finish last season. That very well may be true, but what one man in the league could get that job done overnight?


The truth is the Knicks are still far away from being the team that Jackson was hired to transform them into, and as much as anyone available on draft night, Porzingis might be the man most capable of helping them get there.


Porzingis put his promise on full display with Baloncesto Sevilla of the Liga League last season, averaging 11 points, five rebounds and a block in just over 21 minutes a night. His predraft workouts are also rumored to have been as consistently breathtaking as anyone not named Russell. Overall, he left many scouts hypnotized by his pick-and-pop prowess, and ability to put the ball on the floor as few seven-footers have ever demonstrated.


Perhaps news of it all even made its way back to Anthony, who is now rumored to have reached out to Porzingis’ camp to make it known he absolutely looks forward to having him as a teammate and someone he can call one of his own.

Before long, all of New York will probably be expressing those exact same sentiments.

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