Kristaps Porzingis made his big Washington Wizards debut on Sunday, and it more than lived up to expectations.
Not only did Porzingis lead his squad to a 133-123 victory over the Indiana Pacers, but he also scored 25 points in the process.
What made Porzingis’ showing all the more impressive was that he did his damage in just over 20 minutes of playing action. The Wizards were monitoring his time closely because this was his first game back since Jan. 29 and his first game with the franchise.
After the big win, an understandably giddy Porzingis spoke to the media about a myriad of topics.
“Happy to be out there with a minutes restriction,” he said. “I tried to stay calm, not to do too much, play the right way. Most importantly, we got the win.”
Porzingis also got into an interesting topic: the origin of his ‘Unicorn’ nickname that had been bestowed upon him by Kevin Durant.
“You know what, at first I didn’t like it. I was like what is that, ‘unicorn?’ I had never heard that word before,” he said.
“KD gave me that nickname and it stuck, it stuck. At first, I didn’t like it that much but now I like it. Now I actually like it. I think it kind of represents the way I play. I can play all over the floor and with my height and length. So, I try to embrace that and I try to play like a unicorn.”
Porzingis is obviously a fascinating talent. He has all the potential in the world, but his persistent injury woes and character questions have really derailed what many thought would be an incredible career.
The fact that he not only struggled alongside Luka Doncic, but that the two deeply hated each other, obviously didn’t help his reputation any.
The video speaks for itself. https://t.co/1uY8SZ5kVu
— Game 7 (@game7__) March 7, 2022
That said, Porzingis is still young. He is just 26 years old. If he can gather himself, stay healthy and do some real work with the Wizards – there is plenty of time to rewrite the narrative surrounding him and his career.
Porzingis’ reaction to getting traded was telling. Will he be able to prove the doubters wrong and make some magic happen in D.C.?
Time will tell.
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