Knicks' Phil Jackson says Kristaps Porzingis has a 'magical element'

With a 9-10 record, the New York Knicks have been a mediocre team to start the season. However, the Knicks and their fans have been extremely optimistic about their future thanks to the arrival of rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis

An unknown commodity when selected No. 4 overall by the Knicks in June's NBA Draft, Porzingis was loudly booed by Knicks fans. They've quickly changed their tune and are flat out falling in love with the 20-year-old rookie. Team president Phil Jackson believes that this is because Porzingis has a "magical element" to him.

From Jackson's recent Sirius XM NBA Radio appearance (via the New York Daily News):

“There's the magical element to this young man that has caught the admiration, I think, of the fan base here in New York City and people around the country that do follow the Knicks,” Jackson said on Sirius XM NBA Radio on Wednesday. “In seeing this guy he’s got the right temperament, the right attitude, carries himself well.”

“He’s still not getting the calls, he’s still getting some calls, doesn’t seem to have that issue with referees or protest or get upset. He seems to have a very calm, balanced nature about his game. You know, it’s a learning process. I see growth almost from game to game and that’s really the ticket you look at as you watch a young player.”

“The other day they made a big thing about Howard dunking over the top of him. That’s ridiculous,” Jackson said. “Everybody gets dunked on in the NBA game. But he seems to just laugh it off, come back. He’s obviously a lightning rod to our fan corps because you can’t hide him. He stands out in a crowd, there’s no doubt about it.”

While "magical" may be a bit too grandoise to describe Porzingis at this juncture, at 7-foot-3, the Knicks rookie forward is definitely an intriguing talent and his positive attitude and putback dunks have captured the attention of fans across the country.

Jackson has been frequently advising Porzingis and the youngster seems to be a quick learner, showing growth in each game he plays. It will only be a matter of time before he is leading the Knicks, like his teammate Carmelo Anthony believes will happen.

Kristaps Porzingis is happy to play for the Knicks.
Phil Jackson thinks pretty highly of Kristaps Porzingis. (USATSI)
CBS Sports Writer

Ananth Pandian has been writing about all NBA-related things including the social and lifestyle aspect of the sport for CBS Sports since 2015. His name is actually easy to pronounce, just remember it is... Full Bio

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