Dirk Nowitzki says Kristaps Porzingis will be a ‘great weapon’ for Mavs
It was not too long ago that Dirk Nowitzki was establishing himself with the Dallas Mavericks as a revolutionary player in the game of basketball. Given his size and shooting ability, the Mavs icon showed the ability to dominate the game both from the paint and on the perimeter, setting the mold for the modern example of a European “stretch four.”
While Nowitzki has officially hung up his sneakers, the Mavs will hope that one of his descendants — Latvian forward Kristaps Porzingis — can be the kind of superstar that can help make Dallas a competitive team in the Western Conference.
On Sunday, Nowitzki praised Porzingis and noted that he was in good shape physically:
Dirk on Porzingis: "I ran into him a few days ago in the gym. Yeah, he looks good. I watched him work out a little bit. He’s got the deep ball, he’s got all of the in-between game, so he’ll be a great weapon for us. We can’t wait to see what he’s going to look like." @swish41
— Dwain Price (@DwainPrice) September 15, 2019
Porzingis missed the entire 2018-19 NBA season as he rehabbed from a torn ACL. After a tumultuous year that included a sexual assault allegation as well as a bitter divorce from the New York Knicks, Porzingis finally landed in Dallas after the Knickerbockers traded him to the Mavs in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan and a pair of first-round picks.
While Dirk may have been the pioneer for modern stretch fours, Porzingis’ ability has only heightened the desire for big men who can play inside-out. Labeled “The Unicorn,” Porzingis has shown just how lethal he can be from the perimeter while also harboring some pretty spectacular athleticism for a 7-footer.
Dallas is building a foundation around Porzingis and 2019 NBA Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic. If Porzingis is healthy, his production could serve as a template for how the Mavs attack their rebuilding process.