Mavericks star F Dirk Nowitzki was waiting for the start Knicks F Kristaps Porzingis has had this season.
This offseason, both Nowitzki and Porzingis worked out together with the 22-year-old asking the wise veteran "as many questions as I could." Porzingis has looked up to Nowitzki for years, but the 39-year-old has been watching the young Latvian star as well.
Nowitzki called Porzingis "the real deal," and doesn't take any credit for his hot start to the season saying he already had the tools he needed to become a breakout player.
"I really don't think I taught him anything," Nowitzki told Newsday. "We just shot around, did shooting competitions and worked out together. He's a great dude."
The two foreign stars worked out together before the NBA Africa Game 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was an enlightening experience for Porzingis who aspires to have a career like Nowitzki's.
"We had a couple of days together and I asked as many questions as I could," Porzingis said. "I tried to get as much information as I could from him in our couple of workouts together."
Nowitizki offered to help Porzingis the minute he was drafted by the Knicks, and gave him his phone number to reach him whenever he needed help. It was a meeting that took a little to plan out, but Porzingis finally met one of his idols. Nowitzki was extremely impressed by his work ethic, and what his true potential could be.
"He works extremely hard," he said. "He is so long and his arms are so long. He can shoot from deep easily and can move. He is the real deal."
Porzingis just became the first Knick to score 300 points in his first 10 games this season. He is currently averaging 30.4 points per game, which is good for third in the NBA.