Kristaps Porzingis wants to learn from Dirk Nowitzki. What sweet-shooting 7-footer wouldn't? They apparently talked about training together over the offseason, but the New York Knicks big man said it didn't happen. Next summer, Porzingis wants to steal Nowitzki's moves, via Al Iannazzone of Newsday:
"Hopefully next summer, I'll get a chance to work with Dirk and maybe I can learn from him, take a move from him," Porzingis said. "We tried to do it this summer. It didn't work out."
First-year Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek thinks spending time with Nowitzki and emulating him would be a good move.
"We're hoping that KP can get to that point where we can put him at that elbow and just ride him the whole game," Hornacek said. "That's a great guy for him to compare himself to and say, 'Hey, I can learn from that guy.' "
Nowitzki raved about Porzingis last year, calling him "the real deal" and adding Porzingis was "way better than I was at 20." Porzingis idolized the Dallas Mavericks legend growing up, and said during his rookie season that, one day, he wants to be as great of a shooter as Nowitzki is.
Porzingis has better physical tools. He's taller, longer and quicker. Nowitzki never crashed the offensive glass or blocked shots like Porzingis did in his first season. If he eventually becomes the face of the Knicks, it will be because he became a better all-around threat with the ball, to the point where they can run the offense through him. There might be no one on the planet better for him to emulate than Nowitzki.