New York Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis has made a terrific start to the season and is fully embracing his role as the franchise player.
After eight games, the Latvian is averaging impressive career-high numbers of 29.0 points and 7.8 rebounds.
The big man has posted 30 points or more in six of the eight contests he's featured in and has been a dominant figure on the floor for the Knicks.
He is proving the team was right to trade Carmelo Anthony and hand the reigns over to him as he looks more than ready to take a leadership role and put the entire organisation on his back.
The 22-year-old has received huge plaudits for his performances but the biggest praise came from one of his most recent opponents.
Phoenix Suns center Tyson Chandler said Porzingis "has a chance to be the best player in this league."
When asked what he made of the comments from the veteran, the youngster humbly agreed.
"Those are some big words coming from him," he said, per Marc Berman of the New York Post. "I believe so, too. And that's something I'm going to work towards."
It's clear that the power forward put in a lot of work over the summer to improve and has maintained the excellent form that saw him lead his native Latvia to a quarterfinal finish in the European championships.
For a player who stands at 7'3", Porzingis has incredible attributes which are rarely seen from a player at his size.
His ability to handle the ball and shoot from range make him a matchup nightmare for opposing bigs on a nightly basis. He's also mobile, athletic, and boasts an incredibly varied offensive skill set.
But as well as his talent, the Unicorn is willing to work hard and put the effort in to put himself among the elite players in the NBA.
"KP has that drive," head coach Jeff Hornacek said. "Not a lot of guys have that drive. If they do, they don't want to put the effort in there to get there. He does. He's worked hard in the summer. He's so young, he's going to get better and better."
Porzingis has set himself multiple goals this season, including making a first All-Star appearance, which looks inevitable at this stage.
But as well as individual success, KP is hoping to lead New York back to the playoffs and bring some good times back to the Big Apple.
If he sustains the level he's currently playing at, he may just guide them to the postseason and that'll definitely enhance his chances of becoming the league's best player.News Now - Sport News