Report: Jeff Hornacek probably not reason Kristaps Porzingis skipped meeting
It had been widely assumed that Kristaps Porzingis skipped his exit interview with the New York Knicks last season because of his poor relationship with Phil Jackson, but could head coach Jeff Hornacek have been the main reason? That depends on which report you believe.
On Tuesday, NBA reporter Peter Vecsey wrote that Porzingis skipped his exit meeting because he became disgusted with Hornacek’s coaching style, which at one point included telling Knicks big man Willy Hernangomez — a close friend of Porzingis — to “stop playing like a p—y.” But according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, that was not the motivation behind Porzingis’ decision to blow off the interview.
Berman was told by a source familiar with the situation that it is “doubtful” Hornacek was the reason Porzingis skipped the meeting. The reporter also notes that the two have been back on speaking terms since July after Hornacek said in May that Porzingis had not returned his text messages.
If Jackson wasn’t the sole reason Porzingis skipped the meeting, the Knicks obviously have to work on mending the relationship between their 22-year-old superstar and members of their staff. New team president Steve Mills says he has had good communication with Porzingis, but you could argue that it is more important for Porzingis and Hornacek to be on the same page.
Jackson’s departure should ease some of the tensions in New York, and the Knicks probably would have considered dealing Porzingis in a trade like this if things were really bad. Still, you have to wonder how Porzingis will feel if the team has another losing season.