Carmelo Anthony tried to groom Kristaps Porzingis the past two years, knowing that he someday would replace him as the Knicks’ franchise player. Now that he has, Anthony called it “a big, big year” for Porzingis and had some advice. “You’re there. You’re the unicorn. You’ve got to embrace it,” Anthony said. “You’ve got to understand what it’s about, what’s going to happen, whether good or bad, and be ready for it.” Porzingis’ debut as “The Man” was an impressive one in Thursday night’s regular-season opener against Anthony and Oklahoma City. He had 31 points, 12 rebounds and a block, rejecting a layup by Anthony. Porzingis, 22, said he’s ready for the challenge of filling Anthony’s shoes. “I never doubt myself,” he said. “I never feel like I’m not ready for something, even if it’s the most difficult challenge in my life . . . I’m never too afraid of a situation. “I’m here now. I had a great experience watching Melo, how he does stuff on and off the court. I think that’s what I’m going to use to go forward.” Porzingis told “The Players’ Tribune” that his three individual goals this season are to be an All-Star, the Defensive Player of the Year and the Most Improved Player. He averaged 16.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game in his first two seasons but missed 26 games. The person who garnered most of the attention from defenses and the media said we’ll all find out if Porzingis is ready for this huge responsibility.
Carmelo Anthony gives Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis some advice for being the man
Newsday | Oct 20