5. Kristaps Porzingis

The man. The myth. The legend.

No figure in New York Sports has been more contraversial, mercurial, scrutinized, and celebrated than New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis. The Latvian big man was a largely unknown commodity in the predraft process. His 7’3” frame and silky smooth jumper were promising, but his lack of size and his overseas status meant New York fans didn’t want anything to do with him.

However, Phil Jackson pulled the trigger on Porzingis, selecting him with the fourth overall pick in the NBA draft. Porzingis was booed by fans and pundits alike.

However, some were optimistic about Porzingis and his very high ceiling.

So far, Porzingis has been fantastic. He’s been the Knicks second best player by a wide margin. He’s averaging 13.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. He has 12 double doubles. He’s provided Knicks fans with some incredible moments, like stellar blocks, stunning putback slams, and lights out shooting performances.

Despite hitting a rookie wall recently, Porzingis’s play and temperament far exceed every expectation set for him. He is a star in the making, his ceiling is limitless, and he may be the man to rekindle basketball in the Big Apple.