For the last six months, we knew the relationship between Kristaps Porzingis and the Knicks was amiss.
For most of that time span, we all believed it was because of Phil Jackson. It turns out, it wasn’t.
— News Grit (@NewsGrit) August 19, 2017
ESPN’s Ian Begley reported back in April that Porzingis skipped a meeting with Jackson and general manager Steve Mills “due to frustration over what he perceives as the dysfunction and drama surrounding the organization” and “the Knicks’ lack of direction.”
But that wasn’t the first time he expressed concern over the direction of the organization. Begley also reported that after a loss to the Nets in February, Porzingis:
Said that there was confusion from “top to bottom” due to multiple changes in schemes by head coach Jeff Hornacek and the coaching staff over the course of the season. He added there was “a lot of stuff that’s not clear” to players and that it was “hard to play like that.”
— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) July 3, 2017
Instead of sticking around the Big Apple after the season ended, the Knicks’ future superstar headed home to his native Latvia where he played for the national team over the summer.
After arriving in Latvia, Porzingis was asked about the situation at a press conference which he replied, “I do not want to comment on what happened at the end of the season. I haven’t made any contact with the Knicks,” according to a translated version of his remarks.
— Kristaps Porzingis (@kporzee) August 18, 2017
Weeks later, Jackson reportedly was trying to trade the 22-year-old talent.
It’s now surfacing the issue wasn’t with Jackson, it was with Jeff Hornacek.