Porzingis has earned his first All-Star honors as a reserve, grabbing a spot through the votes of head coaches around the NBA.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania, New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis has earned a place on the All-Star Team, the first time in the 22-year-old’s career.
New York Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis has been selected to the NBA Eastern Conference All-Star reserve team, league sources tell Yahoo.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 23, 2018
Porzingis narrowly missed a spot as a starter in the 2018 All-Star Game in Los Angeles, edged out by Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid in the calculation of votes from fans, players, and media members. Although Embiid received more votes from fans and media personnel, a higher share of players voted for Porzingis.
Nonetheless, the third year player makes his first appearance as an All-Star, the sole representative from the Knicks, leading the team in scoring with 23.6 points per game, 6.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and a league-leading 2.26 blocks per game. In New York’s first season without Carmelo Anthony, a five-time All-Star with the Knicks now with the Thunder, Porzingis has become the face of the franchise with duties as the assumptive leader. Although he has gone through cold spells during the 2017–18 season, overall KP has emerged as a transcendental player that the Knicks gambled on with the fourth pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
In his rookie season, Kristaps went to All-Star Weekend as a participant in the Rising Stars Challenge, playing on Team World (the league’s international players from a pool of rookie and sophomores). Last season, Porzingis participated in—and won—the Skills Challenge, defeating then–Utah Jazz wing Gordon Hayward in the final round of the bracket composed of guards and bigs in the event’s second inaugural edition of the revamped format.
Porzingis will represent the Knicks as their sole All-Star, coming off the bench as a reserve for the game hosted in Staples Center in Los Angeles.