What Kristaps Porzingis initially believed when he suffered torn ACL with Knicks
Dallas Mavericks power forward/center Kristaps Porzingis was a first-time All-Star with the New York Knicks but was unable to compete in the star-studded exhibition following his ACL tear suffered in Feb. 2018, and the Mavs star discussed the injury.
Porzingis, 24, was selected by the Knicks with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, and his long recovery from the career-altering injury wound up bisected by a monumental trade for both franchises, with the Knicks sending the Latvian to the Mavs.
During Porzingis’ rehabilitation, he had to learn his body would never be the same following the ACL tear sustained in a home game at Madison Square Garden against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
In fact, returning to the hardwood was mostly what the Mavs star could think about while sidelined with the Knicks, per Peter Botte in the New York Post.
The 24-year-old Porzingis also said during the interview that he initially believed he could continue playing on the night of his injury, but he never would appear in another game for the Knicks.
According to Porzingis, he “actually tried to get back in (the) game” that night and told family members he still believed he’d make his first career All-Star appearance two weeks later until an MRI exam revealed the tear in his knee.
“You see that stuff happening to players, but you never think it’s going to be you,” he said. “It was a weird feeling that went through my body. A terrible, terrible feeling. So after they told me, I was just devastated. And I was like, ‘Alright, this happened, I can’t go back and change it now and whatever is next, I’m looking forward to it now, and whatever I can do to get back on the court,’ that was my mindset.”
After Porzingis went down and underwent knee surgery, the original timeline for a comeback was 10-12 months from medical professionals, but by the time the 7-foot-3 stretch big man reached that point he was dealt by New York to Dallas.
Following the acquisition (along with Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, and Trey Burke) the Mavs did not play any games on Porzingis making his Mavs debut in 2012-20, instead shutting him down for the remainder of the season.
Porzingis finally made his Mavs debut and stepped on an NBA court for an official regular-season game again after about 20 months away last Oct. 2019 for Dallas.