Kristaps Porzingis reportedly did not attend exit meetings with the New York Knicks due to mounting “frustration over dysfunction” and “drama” around the franchise, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.
The team missed the playoffs for the fourth year in a row and combined for 101 losses over the last two seasons.
But losses are just the tip of the iceberg. There has been internal tension between President Phil Jackson and Knicks star Carmelo Anthony over the past year. After six-and-a-half years together, Jackson announced at a news conference on Friday that he sees Anthony and the organization heading in different directions.
“We’ve not been able to win with him on the court at this time,” Jackson said at the news conference after exit interviews with players. “I think the direction with our team is that he is a player that would be better off somewhere else and using his talents somewhere he can win, or chase that championship.”
After Jackson’s remarks, Anthony posted a message – presumably for Jackson – on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
After the Knicks season finale on Wednesday, Anthony said that he was “open to being traded.” Anthony has two years remaining on a five-year $124 million contract that he signed in 2014. His contract includes a no-trade clause, meaning the Knicks can negotiate trades this summer but Anthony has to agree before he moves anywhere. If he doesn’t like the trade, he doesn’t have to go.
Porzingis, who finished the season averaging 18.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, liked Anthony’s Instagram post.