NBAE / Getty Images
Photo: NBAE / Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks resident German Dirk Nowitzki admits that Kristaps Porzingis was better in his rookie year than he was in his first two seasons in the league.

The two got to meet properly during the NBA Africa game in the off-season.

As versatile, European big men, Nowitzki and Porzingis are frequently compared to one another, with their ability to stretch the opposition defence playing a huge role in their success. When speaking of Kristaps’ early successes in the NBA.

“I think he is way ahead of me,” Nowitzki said. “He was already way better his rookie year than I was my first two probably. And he’ll be a match-up nightmare for all the teams and I’ll be rooting for him.”

Porzingis has won the hearts of Knicks fans and aspires to be like his European counterpart by staying with his franchise for his whole career.

“When I started playing it [the opinion of Knicks fans] kind of turned around and then maybe I can be like Dirk one day,” Porzingis explained.

“That’s what I envision myself doing. I would love to stay in New York my whole career and win a championship there, definitely.”

Nowitzki is the most successful European basketball player in NBA history and is the first player from Europe to break the 30,000 points barrier. Porzingis has spoken of his admiration for the German star and hitting the mercurial 30,000 point mark.

“I mean 30,000 points… I can’t really explain what it is, I mean that’s an unbelievable achievement,” Porzingis said. “To get 30,000, that’s a lot of points, but obviously you know I set no limits for myself.

“I would love to get there one day. It takes a lot of years and a lot of games. I’m happy to see him still playing in the league and still scoring the ball and still, you know, doing his thing.”