Knicks viewed Kristaps Porzingis’ brother as a problem
During his time with the New York Knicks, Kristaps Porzingis repeatedly expressed concern over the direction of the team. And on more than one occasion, his brother, Janis, appeared to get involved and stir the pot a little as well.
It was a persistent issue when Phil Jackson was with the team, and that carried over in the aftermath of Jackson’s departure. In 2017, Janis went as far as to publicly “warn” the Knicks to do whatever they could to keep Kristaps happy.
With Porzingis now in Dallas after being traded to the Mavericks, a clearer picture of Janis’ role and desired role became clearer. And although the issue was obvious from the onset, it was reportedly much worse than many realized.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reports the Knicks had serious concerns about Janis and viewed him as trouble-maker who could cause real problems for both Kristaps and the franchise going forward.
According to sources, Janis Porzingis became a severe thorn in Phil Jackson’s side, staging Kristaps’ missed exit meeting after the 2016-17 season. Jackson wanted to trade Porzingis at the 2017 trade deadline because he got bad vibes from Janis regarding Porzingis’ future.
“Janis wanted the kingdom,” one source familiar with the situation told The Post.
Specifically, Janis repeatedly called into question the direction of the Knicks, but also wanted to land jobs for several members of Kristaps’ entourage, as well as desiring complete control over Kristaps’ rehab and recovery, which he preferred happen in Real Madrid instead of the Hospital for Special Surgery.
“He’s the big brother and wants to protect him and I’m sure over the years his ego and confidence in handling Kristaps has grown,’’ one NBA source said. “It could also be the Knicks’ fault. You have to set boundaries … but they allowed him everywhere and that created Janis knowing and seeing everything.”
In Kristaps’ introductory press conference in Dallas, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle gave a special shout-out to Janis, which may appeal to his ego for now, but it’s only a matter of time before they experience the same thing the Knicks did.