It seems that the newly acquired rookie big man is garnering some respect from a Hall of Fame legend. Recently, Charles Barkley spoke with Neil Best of Newsday and praised the Latvian big man stating:
“The kid is unbelievable; I’m looking forward to seeing him play in person,” Barkley said in a phone interview. He declared Porzingis the NBA Rookie of the Year to this point. “He has obviously surprised me.”
“I think it’s completely out of leftfield,” Barkley said. “But the thing I like about him, I think he is not given enough credit for his mental toughness. The way he got booed on draft night can really shake a kid up. That really impressed me.
“First of all, he probably hadn’t been in this country that long, if ever, then to get booed like he did on draft night.”
Barkley said Porzingis will help the Knicks’ established star, Carmelo Anthony, and vice versa.
“The better players you play with the easier the game is,” he said. “You also have to take your hat off to Carmelo, because he’s really tried to play within the system.”
Now, that’s some heavy praise from someone who is per se “informed” on what it takes to be an efficient big man in the league. It isn’t a far reach to think if Godzingis (I mean, Porzingis) couldn’t come out as the ROY, I mean he’s averaging 14.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks while shooting 46 percent and 36.1 percent from 3. If he keeps this up he will for sure get the rookie nod and garner more respect from the leagues past and present stars.