Kristaps Porzingis: From Bust to Best?

Standing more than 7 feet tall, European superstar Kristaps Porzingis might be the biggest story in sports today and not just because of his height. This is one player you’ll remember from every play, but it wasn’t always this great for the rising star.

Porzingis was selected with the fourth overall draft pick in the NBA Draft and was surprisingly declared a bust almost immediately. That notion changed quickly when he began putting up numbers during the Knicks Summer League games. It was a step forward, but off season games aren’t as important and everyone in the world knows that. The New York fan base and franchise care about one thing, and one thing only: Winning.

Is Porzingis the guy to help take the Knicks from a bottom of the barrel team to a potential contender? That is yet to be seen, but what he has shown on the court so far, the future looks bright for him and the Knicks.

Kristaps Porzingis will be better than Dirk Nowitzki. Many people will find this to be a crazy prediction, but the stars seem to be aligning for the 7’3” Latvian.

Porzingis continues to improve, and his numbers are already showing that. Though his career has just begun, many are questioning whether he will be the best European player the NBA has ever seen.

Let’s take a look at how 3 of the best European players in NBA history compare to Porzingis’ in each of their respective rookie seasons:

Points Per Game Rebounds Per Game Assists Per Game
Kristaps Porzingis 11.6 9.0 0.7
Dirk Nowitzki 8.2 1.0 3.4
Pau Gasol 17.6 8.9 1.0
Tony Parker 16.8 2.9 5.9


The numbers are skewed because of Porzingis’ small sample size (Just 9 games), but the statistics are bound to improve as Porzingis’ minutes are on the rise because of his strong play. Clearly, Kristaps Porzingis’ rookie season has not been the best ever for a European player. But like it or not, he’s in Hall-of-Fame company if he manages to stay at this level.

Out of all of these men, it is not ridiculous to say that Porzingis has the highest ceiling. He’s the tallest, has shooting range from all areas of the floor and he plays in the triangle system, a system that is generally very good to big men. Porzingis will be a champion, an MVP and so much more, as long as he continues to work and not get caught up in the New York spotlight.


By: Michael Hersey