Just two minutes into his college career at the University of Missouri, Michael Porter Jr. suffered a back injury that held him out for multiple months.
Although he was eventually able to return for two games late in the season (during the SEC Tournament and NCAA Tournament), fans and scouts never were able to get a real glimpse of what the former top-ranked recruit could do.
Based mainly on his prior accomplishments, he entered the 2018 Draft and was selected 14th overall by the Denver Nuggets.
He experienced, without a doubt, the largest slide in the draft. At the beginning of this past college season, he was labeled as the top prospect in his class. But, perhaps based on his previous back injury and as the news spread that he recently injured his hip, teams passed on him.
Nonetheless, Denver was happy to take him and he should take on a prominent role alongside a number of other talented youngsters like Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Gary Harris.
Overall, Porter has his sights set on going up against one player in particular.
A confident rookie
“LeBron James. I can’t wait to play the very best player in the NBA,” Porter said on The Dan Patrick Show. “I can’t wait to test myself against him. I’m not really one to back down from anybody, I just want to be a problem for him. Go at him and do what I can do and test myself against the very best.”
It depends where LeBron ends up, but there’s a chance Porter could see a lot of him.
Porter also admitted that he thought he’d go much higher in the draft.
“Before I got hurt, I’d say Sacramento at 2. We talked a lot, they loved me, they got a great feel for me. They told me that I was there guy. But after that hip injury, I had no idea. I thought maybe Cleveland at 8, Chicago at 7, I had no idea. I heard Dallas maybe at 5. I knew L.A. wasn’t taking me, but there were a bunch of teams. It was kind of scary," he said.
But, in the end, he will use his slide as fuel.
“When you’re drafted number one, all you can do is prove everybody right. But being drafted at 14, I get to prove everybody wrong, so that will be really fun and I can’t wait to do that," Porter stated.
As someone who drew comparisons to James in high school, Porter will have every chance to prove himself at the NBA level.News Now - Sport News