Kristaps Porzingis' All-Star dreams will have to be put on hold, as now he must focus on returning to the game itself after tearing the ACL in his left knee on Tuesday night.
It was a play Porzingis has made plenty of times. He ran to the hoop, took flight over Giannis Antetokounmpo, and hammered home a dunk. But he didn't stick the landing properly, and it resulted in Porzingis clutching at his knee and needing assistance to walk off the hardwood.
An MRI revealed the horrific injury, and though the Knicks didn't issue an official timetable for his return, it is safe to say Porzingis is done for the season. And he may be out at the start of training camp next year as recovery for an ACL injury ranges anywhere from seven to 12 months.
Though the announcement of the MRI didn't come until after reporters left the Knicks' locker room, Knicks players held their heads low as they knew their star player wouldn't be suiting up anytime soon.
"When I see him holding his knee, I can't describe in words," Enes Kanter told The Post's Marc Berman. "A terrible feeling."
Willy Hernangomez added, "Ten days, All-Star. You can't believe how much he wanted to be there. We're going to be positive."
Porzingis has always said he wanted to be an NBA All-Star, and he was voted a reserve for Team LeBron for next weekend's festivities. He was also set to compete in the Skills challenge, which he won last year in New Orleans. But, now, that obviously needs to wait until next season as recovery is prioirty No. 1 for the 7-foot-3 Latvian.
"It sucks, man, it sucks," Tim Hardaway Jr. said. Hardaway, who missed a little over a month of games because of a stress injury in his leg, couldn't help but to think about how the Knicks would have been this season had injuries not plagued them.
"I go back to always thinking about we had our groove at the beginning of the season and what if. 'What if I didn't have to go down? What if KP didn't miss some games?' It's a hard pill to swallow. It's reality. It's bigger than basketball. Your body needs to be healthy and got to be ready for situations. It sucks that players are taking a blow right now."
Antetokounmpo, who was one of many NBA players to show support of Porzingis over social media, explained what happened on the dreadful play.
"It was kind of a rough play," he said. "I don't think I pushed him there. I think he just landed not the way he wanted. I hope he's OK, because he's close friends with me."
Head coach Jeff Hornacek looked visibly pained as he sat on the bench after the injury occurred. He admitted it was hard to swallow an injury of this magnitude to his franchise player.
"It's always tough when a guy goes down until you find out what's wrong," Hornacek said. "You see horrible injuries you can tell off the bat, but I don't want to speculate. It's deflating. Part of what we're trying to build around, running things through him. Other guys are going to have to step up and we'll do things in different ways."
The Knicks have said numerous times they are going to try and make the playoffs this season. Now, with Porzingis out, team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry may become sellers before the Thursday trade deadline.
With Porzingis' season over, he averaged 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and a current league-leading 2.4 blocks per game in 47 games this season.