After two decades of Jim Dolan’s “leadership,” did anyone think the Knicks problems could be solved by removing Phil Jackson from the picture?
Sure, Jackson foolishly took public shots at Kristaps Porzingis — the fan favorite and future cornerstone of the franchise — but according to long-time NBA writer Peter Vecsey (in a story behind a pay wall), Porzingis also had an issue with Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek (hat tip The Big Lead).
According to this story, Hornacek went to Willy Hernangomez — Porzingis’ best friend on the team — and played a game of telephone, asking Hernandgomez to tell Porzingis to “stop playing like a pu***.” More than Jackson, it was that comment which caused Porzingis to blow off his exit interview and head to Latvia for the summer (where he is playing in EuroBasket).
I’m taking this rumor/report with a grain of salt. Hornacek is a former player, and if there’s one thing players want from a coach it’s for them to be honest and direct — if you’re going to tell someone to “stop playing like a pu***” you tell them yourself. Face to face. And I would suggest using different language while we’re at it because women are way tougher than men anyway.
Also, why does everyone in this organization go at Porzingis hard then tip-toe around Carmelo Anthony like he’s fragile?
Reportedly Porzingis and Hornacek are on speaking terms again. Maybe this is all overblown or not even true (or not in this form). Who knows, everybody is spinning around the Knicks.
Just consider this a reminder that the dysfunction in Madison Square Garden didn’t begin or end with Jackson.