Take a deep breath, New York Knicks fans. Kristaps Porzingis doesn’t want to leave. And if he does, he only wants to play for the Brooklyn Nets, so you won’t entirely lose him.
As the 7’3″ skyscraper told the New York Post‘s Marc Berman:
Kristaps Porzingis will leave for Latvia on Thursday without meeting with Phil Jackson, but he said blowing off his exit meeting with the team president is not a sign he doesn’t want to play at the Garden next season.
“Of course,” Porzingis told The Post at his luxury apartment complex in Manhattan, when asked if he wants to be a Knick next year. “I love New York. I love New York.”
Ah, okay. So it turns out his love for New York is tied specifically to the Knicks. Even better.
The Knicks, however, don’t seem to know why Porzingis skipped out on his exit meeting with Phil Jackson last week:
According to a source, the Knicks were not given an explanation behind Porzingis’ decision to skip his scheduled exit meeting with Jackson on Friday. Sources have told The Post the 21-year-old franchise pillar is upset with the way the franchise has been run — with Jackson looking to trade Carmelo Anthony, Porzingis’ mentor, and going full tilt on a triangle offense that Porzingis has publicly supported but has mixed feelings about.
On Wednesday, Porzingis declined to address why he missed the meeting with Jackson.
“It’s not the right moment to comment on anything [about it],” he said. “I don’t want to say anything.’’
Some people told Berman “it wasn’t right” that Porzingis blew off Jackson. But it absolutely was.
This wasn’t some power play or trade demand. It was a message, a tactic statement, one that’s telling the Knicks their status quo of dysfunction and incompetence won’t fly with the franchise cornerstone. And it’s perfectly fine for Porzingis to send that message. He’s looking out for his own interests, sure, but he’s also acting on behalf of the Knicks’ future livelihood.
Something that, frankly, no one else has done in a long time.