KRISTAPS Porzingis has had enough of the dysfunction and drama hounding the New York Knicks that he reportedly skipped the team’s traditional player exit meetings.
In his two seasons in New York, Porzingis has made the leap as one of the most exciting young stars in the NBA and averaged 18.1 points and 7.3 rebounds in his second year with the Knicks, who have also lost a combined 101 games since snagging the Latvian forward in the 2015 draft with the fourth overall pick.
League sources told ESPN that Porzingis was particularly frustrated with the lack of direction in the Knicks for the season, which led to the team’s preseason hopes of being a contender ending up as a flop as they faltered with a 30-51 record.
Porzingis noted in February the confusion from ‘top to bottom’ with the changing schemes the Knicks coaching staff, led by Jeff Hornacek, tried during the season. He pointed out that it was ‘hard to play’ with ‘a lot of stuff that’s not clear.’
The Knicks veered away from the triangle offense early in the season, only to revert back and run more triangle sets after the All-Star break. Under associate head coach Kurt Rambis, New York also changed up its defensive schemes many times throughout the season.
That’s aside from the off-court drama that plagued the Knicks, like the ongoing trade speculations on Carmelo Anthony sparked by team president Phil Jackson himself, the sudden disappearance of Derrick Rose last January, the dragging out of ex-Knick Charles Oakley from Madison Square Garden last February, among others.
Jackson is aware of the growing discontent within the players with the way Hornacek and the coaching staff ran the team. But he told reporters on Friday that this issue must be addressed before they move forward.
"I think there's disconnect sometimes with this team and I think there was some rebelliousness with this team that created some of the discord during the year. And I think [that] has to stop and that will stop," he said.