The New York Knicks were dealt a devastating blow last month when star player Kristaps Porzingis suffered a season-ending torn left ACL injury.
The Latvian was having a career year and had established himself as the face of the franchise after the team traded Carmelo Anthony in the summer to build around him.
He injured himself after landing on the foot of Giannis Antetokounmpo following a dunk against the Milwaukee Bucks in early February.
Prior to his campaign coming to an end, he was averaging a team-high 22.7 points and a league-leading 2.4 blocks per game.
The 22-year-old was rewarded with his first All-Star selection but the opportunity to rub shoulders with the league's best players in Los Angeles was cruelly taken away from him.
There's still no specific timetable for his return but he is expected to need at least 10 months to recover.
In his first public interview since the setback, Porzingis vowed to come back even better than before and once again perform at a high level.
"I believe that I'm going to come back better and stronger," he said, per ESPN's Ian Begley.
"[I've] been having a positive mindset this whole time and just going day by day, doing whatever I need to. Every day is a little progress, a little something, and just moving forward and getting better every day with my knee."
His injury effectively ended the Knicks' campaign as their faint hopes of making the playoffs disappeared.
In his absence, head coach Jeff Hornacek has focused on giving more minutes to younger players such as Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay and Trey Burke.
After a defeat against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night, they have now lost 16 of their last 17 games.
New York will once again be in the lottery and will hope to add a budding young star in the 2018 draft.
When asked about the team's future, Porzingis said he hasn't given it much thought but is "confident" that president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry will make the best decisions to improve the franchise.
"I haven't been really thinking about that as much. It's something that, it's their job, and it's in their hands, and we'll see what happens this summer," said Porzingis. "I haven't really thought about it, and it's also not my job. So I'm confident that they will make the right moves."
One decision that the Knicks front office is expected to make in the offseason is to tie down their talented big man to a long-term deal.
'The Unicorn' is eligible for a five-year, $157 million extension this summer and there is little doubt that he'll receive this offer and commit his future to New York.
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