In a shocking turn of events, the New York Knicks appear poised to potentially part ways with Kristaps Porzingis.
“We’re getting calls. As much as we value Kristaps and what he’s done for us, when a guy doesn’t show up for an exit meeting, everybody starts speculating on the duration or movability from a club.”
Phil Jackson on rumors that the team is looking to deal Kristaps Porzingis
Two years ago, the New York Knicks selected Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Boos reigned down on the seven-foot-three Latvian teenager as he made his way to the stage to shake hands with commissioner Adam Silver. The draft was held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. It was packed full of Knicks fans who were obviously displeased that their team picked a guy not many of them had heard of.
Children were literally crying in the stands when his name was read:
Porzingis handled the entire situation with great humility and poise. He wisely opted to use the resounding jeers as motivation to prove all his doubters wrong.
And it didn’t take long for him to earn their respect. Porzingis became a hit almost instantaneously. His fearlessness and gritty attitude, especially on the defensive end, won Knicks fans over quickly. His easy-going nature both on and off the floor, combined with his incredible versatility on both ends, had many comparing him to Dirk Nowitzki.
Unfortunately for Knicks fans, Phil Jackson has not quite been as great an executive as he was an NBA coach. Jackson, who won 11 rings as both a player and coach, seemed to be a perfect fit to take over as President of the Knicks when he was first hired in March of 2014. Sadly, this hasn’t been the case.
Jackson has been especially vocal concerning his displeasure with Carmelo Anthony. It’s safe to say his relationship with Anthony is fractured and probably isn’t going to get better as long as Melo is a Knick.
And now, Jackson appears to be taking a strong stance against Porzingis, who failed to show up for his exit interview at the end of this season. This was a clear sign of displeasure on the part of Porzingis in terms of the team’s direction. Jackson is so upset about this, that he confirmed that the team is looking at potentially trading away their 21-year old star.
This is a clear ego battle raging on right now. Porzingis definitely messed up by not attending his exit interview, and needs to make amends for this mistake. But for Jackson to up the ante and toss around the notion of sending him elsewhere is just absolutely insane.
Porzingis is a special talent. He’s a rangy, mobile big man who can spot up from three, attack the lane, AND finish around the rim. He can also defend multiple positions and protect the rim with his phenomenal wingspan. It’s clear he’s a unique player who’s going to have a long career in this league.
To entertain the notion of trading him this early on in his career is flat-out ridiculous. And if Jackson actually follows through on it and sends him packing, it will have drastic ramifications that the Knicks and their fans will feel for years to come.