Clippers coach Doc Rivers, a huge fan of Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks, said the Latvian star’s ACL tear is a devastating blow to the Knicks because of the uncertainty of his return. Rivers said it won’t only impact the Knicks in the standings but also in their ability to attract free agents.“Those are tough blows,” Rivers said. “In this day and time an ACL is not a death sentence anymore
. Most guys come back and they’re healthy and they’re fine. But he was having an All-Star season. He’s also a guy that I don’t know if you want to call him a pied piper but he brings other people. The better he plays the more people want to play with him. Not having him and not knowing when he’ll be back, that hurts more than just this year. That’s where the injury hurts them the most.”
There is truth in Rivers’ words. But it was interesting coming from the onetime Knick, who has been rumored to be a possible candidate to coach his old team if he’s available and Jeff Hornacek isn’t retained
Porzingis had surgery on Feb. 13 to repair a torn left ACL. No timetable has been given for his return, but the Knicks will be cautious with their franchise player. Some players have missed a year or longer.
It could help Porzingis that he’s only 22 years old. But the fact that he’s 7-3 could be a drawback. Porzingis has been rehabbing in New York, and is expected to visit the Knicks’ practice facility at some point after they return from this trip.