Knicks president Phil Jackson recently met with Kristaps Porzingis’ brother Janis to talk about Porzingis’ decision not to attend his exit interview with team officials, a league source confirmed.
Porzingis, who is training in Latvia, blew off his end-of-season meeting with Jackson, general manager Steve Mills and coach Jeff Hornacek out of frustration over the direction of the franchise, according to league sources.
The Knicks had no comment.
Janis, an agent with Andy Miller’s ASM group, recently told ESPN that Kristaps wants the Knicks “to create an environment where he can develop and grow as a player and win.”
The Knicks have gone 32-50 and 31-51 in Porzingis’ two NBA seasons. He has played for three coaches.
During this past season, Porzingis talked about “a lot of confusion” with the Knicks and said it’s “from top to bottom.” This was after the Knicks changed their offense after the All-Star break to emphasize the triangle. That’s Jackson’s system of choice, and it’s what the Knicks will be playing.
There also have been several off-the-court situations that have led to drama and what appears to be an unstable environment.
Carmelo Anthony’s future still is the biggest question hanging over the team. Jackson tried to move Anthony during the season and took what seemed to be shots at him in an in-season interview with CBS Sports Network and on Twitter.
Jackson has made it clear that he believes Anthony would be better off elsewhere. It’s possible that Porzingis has seen how Anthonyhas been treated and is concerned that the same could happen to him.
Jackson still hasn’t publicly addressed Porzingis’ failure to attend his exit interview. He was asked about it a few times at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago last week. “I’d just as soon not talk about it,” he said.
When Jackson was asked if Porzingis will face any disciplinary action, he said, “I won’t talk about it. That’ll come out when it does.”
Although Jackson left the door open for the Knicks to look to move Porzingis, saying no one is untouchable, Hornacek said he expects Porzingis to be with the Knicks next season.
“There’s no doubt in my mind he’ll be on the roster,” Hornacek said at the Combine. “I think everything is going to be fine when he gets back.
“He decided not to come to the meeting,” Hornacek said. “It would’ve been a great opportunity to talk about what he sees, but we figure it’s a long summer. We’ll end up talking to him and all that stuff coming into next year will be fine.
“Guys make decisions and live with those decisions. It just would’ve been a good opportunity to talk about what the concerns are moving forward. You can’t do anything about the past. That’s the big thing. Whatever happened and went on, you can’t dwell on it. You got to learn from it and make the proper adjustments to move forward.”