Magic Johnson is never one to shy away from speaking his mind regardless of the criticism that might head his way. The Hall of Famer made a bold statement on Sunday after sitting courtside at Madison Square Garden to watch the Los Angeles Lakers take on the New York Knicks.
Apparently, Magic was quite impressed with rookie forward Kristaps Porzingis. Johnson took to Twitter following the Knicks win over the Lakers to give Phil Jackson some credit for drafting Porzingis with the fourth overall pick back in June.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) November 8, 2015
In seven games for the Knicks thus far, Porzingis is averaging 12.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. Although there’s a lot of basketball left to play, New York may have found a gem with the 20-year-old seven-footer.
Porzingis finished with a double-double against the Lakers scoring 12 points, grabbing ten rebounds and blocking two shots in the win. Lakers rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell ended up with six points and five assists to go along with three assists and three steals.
With the Lakers having the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the franchise had the opportunity to bring in Porzingis. The Lakers brass did work out Porzingis ahead of the draft with some speculation brewing in Los Angeles that the team could consider taking him ahead of Jahlil Okafor or D’Angelo Russell.
Head coach Byron Scott spoke to the media on Saturday in New York about what the Lakers thought about Porzingis after working him out. Coach Scott says Porzingis did some good things, but felt the development process would be longer than they’d like.
The Knicks and Lakers have yet to play ten games this season with Russell and Porzingis barely scratching the surface regarding their potential. Russell hasn’t progressed as quickly as Porzingis has at this point, but there’s a long way to go before either franchise knows what they truly have with their rookies.