Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis joked that he didn't understand it when Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant first called him a "unicorn" when describing Porzingis' play on the court.
"At first I was a little confused. It's like what is it, a horse with a ponytail? What does it mean?" Porzingis said Thursday on "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon." "But then he explained it to me, and what he tried to say was that I was a unique player, so it was nice to hear him say good things about me."
Durant, who at the time was a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, told reporters that Porzingis' skill set given his 7-foot-3 frame was a rare thing to see in the NBA.
"He can shoot, he can make the right plays, he can defend, he's a 7-footer that can shoot all the way out to the 3-point line," Durant said, according to ESPN's Royce Young. "That's rare. And block shots -- that's like a unicorn in this league."
The 22-year-old Porzingis has enbraced the monicker, even wearing a unicorn mask on Halloween and getting an image of a unicorn on his shoes.
Porzingis has emerged as an early-season MVP candidate, as he ranks fifth in the NBA in points per game (25.8) and first in blocks per game (2.1). The Knicks are hopeful Porzingis will play Sunday against the Orlando Magic after he suffered a sprained ankle but avoided structural damage in Wednesday's game against the Miami Heat.