Sportress of Blogitude

Mark Cuban on Kristaps Porzingis: ‘We’re looking for The Unicorn to unicii’

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban expects big things next season out of Kristaps Porzingis, and colorfully indicated as much this week as the 2018-19 NBA campaign winds down.

Porzingis, acquired on Jan. 31 in a blockbuster trade with the New York Knicks, has yet to play this season after suffering a torn left ACL on Feb. 6, 2018, but Cuban sees only big things out of Latvian superstar, and said so in patented Cuban-esque fashion.

“To f—ing crush it,” Cuban said of the Mavs’ expectations for Porzingis next season, via ESPN’s Tim McMahon. “We’re looking for The Unicorn to unicii. I don’t know if that’s a word, but that’s what we expect.”

While “unicii” is indeed not a word, Cuban’s thoughts on Porzingis certainly are justifiable. The 7-foot-3 center has posted career averages of 17.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 31.0 minutes per game in 186 games while shooting 43.7 percent from the field and 36.1 percent from 3-point range.

The Mavericks (29-46) to no surprise have exercised extreme caution with the still-recovering Porzingis, and given the team is playing out the string amid a lost season, there was no reason to force the issue. Porzingis himself said in February there was “no rush” to return to the court, so the star and the Mavs clearly are on the same page in that regard.

Time will tell soon enough how far the Mavs can go with a pairing of Porzingis and rookie superstar Luka Doncic, who is already turning heads with his dynamic play. As Cuban sees it, though, the case can be made Porzingis will play such a huge role in Dallas’ turnaround that it will merit making up words celebrating the young star’s fantastic nickname.