By Michael Porter Jr.’s own admission, the game of basketball has always come easy to him.
As a high school senior, Porter became just the fifth player ever to win MVP of the McDonald’s All-American Game as well as the Naismith and Gatorade National Player of the Year awards, following in the footsteps of Dwight Howard (2004), LeBron James (2003), Chris Webber (1991) and Alonzo Mourning (1988). At the 2016 U18 FIBA Americas, Porter led the USA in scoring (15.8 ppg) on a team that included Markelle Fultz, Jarrett Allen and Trae Young.
“It always has,” Porter said. “I’ve just got to keep getting healthy, and basketball takes care of itself.”
Aside from a back injury that cost him all but three games of his college career, Porter has overcome any obstacle in front of him with remarkable ease. He’s never known anything but success when healthy, which is perhaps what led to his — uhhhh — generous self-evaluation earlier this week.
“Right now, I’m a mix of Giannis (Antetokounmpo) and KD (Kevin Durant),” Porter said. “You know, I like going to the hole a little more than KD does, I like bumping into people a little more physical than KD. But I also, you know, I like to shoot the ball more than Giannis. So that’s what I like to compare myself to.”