New York Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis is done for the season.
Fresh off a solid Eurobasket in the summer with Latvia, the 22-year-old was enjoying a career-best season with the Knicks as he replaced Carmelo Anthony as the marquee player on a team looking to move in another direction following many seasons of despair.
But the Knicks now have to find an alternative route to finish the NBA season, as Porzingis landed awkwardly on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s foot after a dunk during the second quarter of the Knicks’ 103-89 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday and he was immediately taken to the locker room.
An MRI scan later confirmed the worst as he will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his left knee.
Of course, there will be surgery for Porzingis to mend the knee. A timetable for his return will be established after surgery, but he is expected to be sidelined for at least a year.
Porzingis is averaging a team-high 22.7 points per game and an NBA-high 2.4 blocks per game.
The NBA community has flocked to show its support for Porzingis, who was about the become an NBA All-Star this month, as well as being the centrepiece for the Knicks, who were certain to build around the youngster during the trade deadline in order to compete for a playoff spot.
Willy Hernangomez, a player that is expected to be traded by the Knicks during the trade deadline, led the messages of support as a former team-mate of Porzingis’ at Sevilla (now Real Betis).
This is so hard….you are my best friend. We have been together almost every day for five years. But, I know you will be back stronger and better than ever!!! I love you bro! pic.twitter.com/MEFurC1Asu
— Willy Hernangómez (@willyhg94) February 7, 2018
Porzingis is the fourth original NBA All-Star sidelined after DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Love and John Wall. All four of those players were on ‘Team LeBron’. The superstar himself tweeted his support for the Latvian’s recovery.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 7, 2018
🙏🏾 up to Porzingis !
— Paul George (@Yg_Trece) February 7, 2018
Ugh – just saw the Porzingis news. The Basketball Gods are acting like complete assholes in 2018.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) February 7, 2018