NBA

Knicks veteran sees similarities between rookie Frank Ntilikina and Kyrie Irving

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The post-Carmelo Anthony era finally begins for the New York Knicks after they traded the star to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

President Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry have both gone on record to state that the team will now be built around their young core of Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Willy Hernangomez and Frank Ntilikina.

The latter was selected by the franchise with the eighth overall pick in this year's draft and is an unknown quantity to most Knicks fans.

Ntilikina is in the same boat that Porzingis was in when he was drafted fourth in 2015 and was booed by the New York faithful.

KP quickly proved them wrong and, just two years later, is now considered the face of the franchise following Melo's departure.

The Knicks are hoping their new rookie point guard has the same impact and quickly wins over the Madison Square Garden crowd.

The Frenchman arrives from Europe with a decent reputation and head coach Jeff Hornacek is hoping to eventually nurture him into his starting point guard.

To help him with his development, the Knicks signed veteran point guard Ramon Sessions to act as his mentor.

Having worked closely with Ntilikina since signing in August, Sessions is already excited by his potential and has compared him to Kyrie Irving.

The 32-year-old played with Irving when he was a rookie with the Cleveland Cavaliers and sees a similarity between the two guards.

"I played with Kyrie when he was young. He’s got a lot of Kyrie tendencies," he said. "Not the most athletic guy but can handle the ball in tight spots. It’s still early on, but he definitely gives me that Kyrie feel when Kyrie was a rookie."

The youngster was delighted to hear the comparison, especially as he's been overlooked by many of his peers because they haven't seen him play in the French league.

In the annual Rookie Survey, Ntilikina didn't get a single vote in any category and also missed the Summer League due to injury.

“Kyrie is Kyrie,’’ Ntilikina told The New York Post. “That’s something. He’s an All-Star, has done crazy things. Hearing that is a blessing. Ramon is here for me. Giving me a lot of advice. I’m learning a lot from him.”

The Knicks have extremely high hopes for the 19-year-old and believe that he can be their point guard for the future, which has become the most important position in the league in recent years.

They are craving for some talent in the Big Apple and Ntilikina has the biggest stage to become an NBA star.

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Kristaps Porzingis
New York Knicks
Atlantic Division
Joakim Noah
Chicago Bulls
Central Division
Carmelo Anthony

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