The manner in which the New York Knicks traded Carmelo Anthony was distasteful but their intentions were correct as they were keen to make Kristaps Porzingis the franchise player and build around him.
The 22-year-old couldn't fully show his talents while it was still Melo's team and had to watch his former teammate dominate the ball and take most of the shots.
With the veteran now gone, the Latvian is showing why the Knicks were right to put their trust in him as he's made a blistering start to the season.
Porzingis has put up 30 or more points in five of the six games he's featured in already this year.
Last night, he posted a career-high 38 points in a 116-110 win over the Denver Nuggets, which is the team's third straight victory.
The big man has shown an aggressive approach on the floor and is thriving with the extra responsibility he's been given and is clearly embracing being the go-to guy.
According to ESPN's Ian Begley, he said his offseason workouts have played a big part in his hot start to the campaign.
"I think my strength is helping my game a lot. Just having my balance on all those shots here and there," he said. "Even though a lot of those shots are contested I'm able to make them through contact. I'm more comfortable. I'm just more comfortable in the post."
The 22-year-old has been almost unguardable and has developed a full repertoire of offensive moves and ways to score.
He is a nightmare for opposing bigs with his ability to score inside and step out and sink mid-range shots and threes.
The power forward even did his best Stephen Curry impression by casually hitting a deep three-pointer in his career night against the Nuggets.
He was 4-of-7 from beyond the arc and a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line which shows that even fouling him won't do the trick.
The man nicknamed 'The Unicorn' already became the first Knicks player to score 30+ points in four of the team’s first five games of the season and will surely rack up more records with the team in the foreseeable future.
KP looks more than ready to take a lead role for the Knicks and put the franchise on his back.
The pressure of playing in the league's biggest market can be stressful and it took its toll on Carmelo during his time in the Big Apple.
Anthony delivered some words of advice to the youngster earlier this month about how he needs to take over and be the man.
"You're there. You're the unicorn. You've got to embrace it," Anthony said. "You've got to understand what it's about, what's going to happen, whether good or bad, and be ready for it.
"This is a big, big year for him. Now he almost is, I don't want to say forced to take on that role, but it's there. He has to take on that role. He has to embrace that role. He has to be ready for what's in front of him."
The early signs are extremely positive and Porzingis is certainly leading by example on the court with his stunning displays.
It may be early in the season but his frontcourt partner Enes Kanter believes he deserves MVP recognition and has credited him for the way he conducts himself both on and off the floor.
"It's crazy but I think he should be in the MVP talk. He should definitely be in the MVP talk," Kanter said. "Because he's bringing it every night. He's doing an amazing job. He's not taking nights off. Not just on the court, off the court to try to help everybody."
The way he reacted to the negativity he received from Knicks fans after he was drafted showed us that he has a strong mentality and the bright lights of New York haven't fazed the talented power forward one bit.
“I never doubt myself,” he said. “I never feel like I’m not ready for something, even if it’s the most difficult challenge in my life. . . I’m never too afraid of a situation."
The future of the Knicks is in good hands and it's scary to think just how much better he can become. The sky is the limit for him.News Now - Sport News