The Knicks might have bigger concerns than trying to trade Carmelo Anthony.
Their future franchise player, Kristaps Porzingis, skipped his exit meeting with Knicks officials — including team president Phil Jackson — because of frustration over all the drama surrounding the team, a league source said.
Porzingis was outspoken during the season, saying there was “a lot of confusion” and it was “from top to bottom.” He has played for three coaches and lost 101 games in two seasons.
Porzingis’ failure to meet with Jackson — which was first reported by ESPN.com — was an interesting development considering what happened Friday. Jackson, in a news conference, said the Knicks haven’t been able to win with Carmelo Anthony and that “he would be better off somewhere else.” Anthony responded with an Instagram and Twitter post with the words “Really” and two “crying laughing” emojis. Porzingis liked the post.
The skipped meeting could explain why Jackson said it’s too soon for the Knicks to become Porzingis’ team. Jackson also wouldn’t say Porzingis is untouchable as he tries to rebuild the team.
“Everything has got to be possible and we have to make sure that if people have something to say, we listen to it, we examine it,” Jackson said.
The belief is that one of the reasons Jackson wants to move Anthony is to let Porzingis become the face of the franchise and focal point of the offense. Jackson, however, said he doesn’t think Porzingis, who missed 16 games because of injury, is ready for that pressure.
“No, I don’t,” Jackson said at the news conference. “He’s 21 years old. That’s a big load for anybody to take on. But he’s shown that he’s competitive. He’s shown that he’s got a sense of desire to win.
“We’re really pleased with how he’s developed. I think he had some concern this year about physical. Not being able to stand up to all the games physically, Achilles tendon, back, et cetera.”