Porzingis, 22, had assumed the role of New York's new franchise player. Same with the playoffs.
Now, though, they just have to hope he can show enough over the final two months of next season - while playing on a minutes restriction for a team nearly certainly bound for a high lottery pick - to prove he can still be the kind of alluring talent that potential free agents would want to play with. But those plans were derailed when Porzingis crashed to the court, punching the floor in pain after a dunk in the second quarter of a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.
With the prominence of Porzingis gone, this season could turn into a needed evaluation for bench players to show they belong on a rebuilding team.
On Tuesday night, the National Basketball Association was served another hit.
Towns sent out a tweet after shortly after hearing of the Porzingis news. It is true that these injuries (Kevin Love, DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall, and now Kristaps Porzingis) are taking some fun out of the All-Star Game, but, I am hoping to see more intense game now. "Best wishes and have a speedy healthy recovery @kporzee".More news: Rahul Dravid clarifies reports on visiting Pakistan's dressing room
Porzingis was set to play on James' team next week when he made his debut as an All-Star, and he was also set to defend his title in the Skills Challenge. It would have been his first time.
The Knicks are now 23-32 and 11th in the Eastern Conference and have lost four in a row. "Jeff and his group are working really hard with this basketball team and doing the very best they can, and obviously this is an adversity for them to deal with KP being out, but I'm confident that they'll be able to do a good job of keeping this team playing hard and playing together".
"He was down when he first got the news, but then he instantly switched to, 'I've got to take on this new journey".
Porzingis ends the season averaging 22.7 points per game and an NBA-high 2.4 blocks per game. The Bucks kicked it up another notch in the third quarter, holding the Knicks to six points in the first six minutes of the half before eventually going up by as much as 21 in the period. "Youth will be on his side in terms of his ability to heal and fight through this and come back bigger, better and stronger". He will have surgery to fix the injury in the coming days, though it hasn't yet been scheduled.
Well-wishers around the league think he will.