Karl-Anthony Towns has kept tabs on what Kristaps Porzingis has done since the two young big men came in the league together in 2015, and is happy the Knicks’ franchise player has proved the doubters wrong. Porzingis has cooled off since his fast start this season that had people touting him as an MVP candidate. Towns outperformed him by a wide margin in the Timberwolves’ 10-point over the Knicks Friday, finishing one assist short of a triple-double. Porzingis missed 13 of 19 shots. But Towns remembers being in Brooklyn the night the two were drafted one and four respectively, and hearing the boos when Porzingis was picked by the Knicks. Towns, a New Jersey native, believes the Knicks are extremely lucky that Porzingis fell to them at four
“I’m just happy to see him [Kristaps Porzingis] develop into the player that few ever thought he would be,” Karl-Anthony Towns said. “I’m just glad he found success because being that from that area, it’s very hard to earn the love of fans and earn their respect. For him to do what he’s done,I told Kristaps that’s a huge accomplishment in anyone’s career to be in New York and find success and earn respect of the fans and the love of the fans and admiration. It just speaks to how talented of a player he is and how great of a person he is off the court. I think the Knicks are very, very, very, very fortunate to have made the right decision, and very fortunate to have him.”
Europeans carry a reputation among NBA coaches of playing with more guile and teamwork. Porzingis hasn’t looked like a basketball Einstein since December. Porzingis admitted he has “to be smarter’’ in bracing for double coverage. Scott Roth, who coached Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Herangomez in Spain, made a revealing remark during the All-Star break last year. “People are more surprised by Willy, but I’ve always said Willy was an overall better basketball player at the age Kristaps was, as far as feel for the game and how he moves and passes,’’ Roth told me.
Towns remembers being in Brooklyn the night the two were drafted one and four respectively, and hearing the boos when Porzingis was picked by the Knicks. Towns, a New Jersey native, believes the Knicks are extremely lucky that Porzingis fell to them at four “I’m just happy to see him develop into the player that few ever thought he would be,” Towns said. “I’m just glad he found success because being that from that area, it’s very hard to earn the love of fans and earn their respect.”