It has been nearly three years since Kevin Durant first dubbed Kristaps Porzingis a "unicorn," but the Warriors forward will not be getting the chance to go up against the Knicks' mythical creature when they square off on Tuesday.
Instead Porzingis continues to recover from his ACL surgery, which he had 11 months ago, but Durant offered some words of encouragement for the 23-year-old during Tuesday's morning shootaround.
"I hope he recovers from his injury and gets to play the game that he loves," Durant said. "The fans in New York and his teammates love having him out there. I know how tough injuries are. Being away from the game so long can be tough ... hopefully he gets back on the court."
Every comment Durant makes about the Knicks is of course under a close microscope as he is expected to hit free agency this summer.
Knicks owner James Dolan expressed his desire for a star in Madison Square Garden on Monday, and he could have two if Durant and Porzingis team up next season.
Durant expanded a little bit on why he came up with the unicorn nickname for Porzingis.
"Seeing a guy that's 7-3 being able to shoot the three, usually big guys take a while to get that jump shot off at the three-point line," Durant said. "He had a quick trigger from deep."
Porzingis was not the only Knicks player Durant was asked about.
Rookie Kevin Knox, who was Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month in December, has also gotten his attention but he stopped short of any mythical nicknames for the 19-year-old.
"He's playing some big minutes," Durant said. "Really starting to get a feel for the game. He has a bright future ahead of him."