Rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis has been a bright spot for a disappointing New York Knicks this term, but the Latvian hopes his superstar mentor, Carmelo Anthony, won't be departing anytime soon.
The Knicks' franchise player has been vocal in the press this week regarding the team's shortcomings and his personal frustrations with their fortunes.
His 20-year-old teammate is just getting his feet wet in the big, wide world of the NBA, but Porzingis is clear in his admiration for the 31-year-old, nine-time All-Star.
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"Obviously, I wouldn't want to lose him," the candidate for Rookie of the Year asserted. "He is who he is on our team. He's very special.
"And we need him to do big things in the future, especially for me. I love playing alongside him, so that [Anthony leaving in the summer] would obviously not be something that I want."
'Melo has shot down reports he might seek to leave New York in the past few days, but that hasn't stopped imaginative minds from speculating.
The 2013 scoring champion has been posting lower numbers than usual this season as he continues to find his form following knee surgery last year. Anthony is putting up 21.4 points and 8 rebounds a night.
The Knicks have struggled this season. They've dropped 13 of their last 15 outings and are all but certain to miss the playoffs for the third time in a row while Derek Fisher received his marching orders during that period.
However, interim coach Kurt Rambis has spoken glowingly about the former Denver Nuggets forward and his impact on their rising star, Porzingis.
"Carmelo is doing the right thing. He is being a mentor to a young guy," Rambis said. "And a lot of it is just Carmelo challenging him to be aggressive and confident out there on the floor.
"Melo has been great with him [Porzingis] in terms of encouraging him to grow as a ballplayer, to blossom, to trust himself and be confident in what he does."
Although the Knicks might not be reaping the benefits on the scoreboards, whatever Anthony is doing with Porzingis is working for the youngster personally.
The 7'3" center has recorded an average of 14.1 points and 7.4 rebounds a game in his debut campaign. Out of his maiden peers, only number one draft pick Karl-Anthony Towns can better his performance in those two areas.
Creating a star in Porzingis is one thing, but solidifying his legacy with an NBA Championship is sure to be the prevailing ambition for Anthony.
The talented Porzingis doesn't want to see him go, so general manager Phil Jackson has a job on his hands to make the Knicks a force again and build around it's two star names.
By the looks of things, he needs to do it quick.