The Knicks’ surprising pre-emptive commitment to Baker is the second free agent agreement handed out by the club that has raised some eyebrows around the league. The Knicks, under general manager Steve Mills, signed shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. to a four-year $71 million offer sheet that the Atlanta Hawks – Hardaway’s incumbent club – declined to match. The contract has been met with shock inside and outside the organization, according to ESPN’s Wojnarowki and Ramona Shelburne.
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Though O’Quinn didn’t condemn Porzingis’ blowing off the exit interview, he said he never could have predicted that his friend would do that. Sources told The Post that Porzingis missed the sit-down to protest how chaotically the organization was being run by Jackson. O’Quinn said he has spoken to Porzingis “pretty often’’ during the offseason. “Kristaps is a professional,’’ O’Quinn said. “I was surprised. Of course anybody missing the exit meeting is pretty surprising — like, wow. But as a professional, he has his own choices, and he made that choice and he went through with it. I don’t think personally I would’ve done it. That’s not how I would’ve done it. I’m sure he had a reason why.’’
“It’s tough to see anybody go, but I knew a change was going to be made,’’ O’Quinn said after dropping in on the Knicks summer-league team Wednesday to take photos. “We didn’t know what. We knew something had to be done. That’s what they chose to do. I wish Phil the best, of course. In any organization, no matter who it is, you hate to see somebody go. “[But] you could just sense it. We had a great team last year and things — the media, you blew things up a bit. I think the only way to get that negative stuff out is something had to be done. Not saying Phil was negative, but something had to be done to let the situation be at ease.’’
Clarence Gaines Jr., former Knicks president Phil Jackson’s top adviser, reacted angrily when asked about an NBA TV video that some allege shows him and GM Steve Mills laughing at Carmelo Anthony’s workout tape.
Frank Isola: Charley Rosen also wrote that a big reason for Phil’s firing “was the furious bias against him on the part of the New York media.” Classic.
Either way, with Jackson off to his Montana ranch and general manager Steve Mills in charge for now, the future for Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis as teammates again next season looks a bit brighter. Actually, some Knicks officials believe Anthony’s influence on Porzingis has been detrimental and a key reason why Jackson became adamant about removing him from the roster any way he could. “Phil thought Carmelo was trying to sabotage him,’’ an NBA source said.
Jackson was supposed to recruit free agents, and instead he chased them away. One longtime league official said the other day that while he agreed with Jackson’s desire to trade Anthony to start a true makeover, he couldn’t understand why the Knicks president went out of his way to trash the forward at every turn. “Doesn’t he understand that Carmelo still has a really big voice amongst the players in this league?” the official asked. “No, Carmelo isn’t the same player he once was, but LeBron and Chris Paul and a lot of very important stars really like and respect him. So what do you think those guys are going to say when Phil tries to recruit them to New York?”
A somber and shaken-looking Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek thanked Phil Jackson for hiring him 13 months ago and called it “a tough day for us.’’ Speaking at the end of the Knicks’ first summer-league practice in Orlando, Hornacek would not take questions from the media, only willing to make a quick statement about Jackson’s sudden firing Wednesday morning. Hornacek, hired last May, stays in his position as general manager Steve Mills takes over day-to-day operations for the franchise.
Keith Pompey: They are chanting ‘Fire Phil’ at the draft
Part of his frustration is with the forever-changing scope of the offense, with Jackson recently going all-in again on the triangle. “It is different,’’ Porzingis said in Spain. “It works if everyone believes in it, if everybody knows where to move and where to go and what to do and reads the situation well. You can’t do it with everybody. You have to have the right players, have to have players with sharp minds, that can read the game quickly and make the right cut and pass. I haven’t really been a part of a really good triangle team. We always had some trouble a bit. We’ll see what we do next season.’’
Porzingis will join the Latvian National Team for the European Championships in late July. Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said he would attend, but he may not work directly with Porzingis while there. “Nobody from the Knicks will be there [working me out],” Porzingis said. “You see what happened to Josh Longstaff [the Knicks assistant whose contract was not renewed]. But I will have my physiotherapist.’’
Zach Lowe: To restate the obvious, players and agents increasingly look at the Knicks as a destination of absolute last resort.
Ian Begley: Correction: team sources say there’s been very minimal contact between NYK & Porzingis since skipped exit meeting. Apologies for the error.
But that’s changed. And this week’s news that Kristaps Porzingis could be on the trading block only made things worse. “I was talking to one of our players the other day, a free agent, and we were looking at our options,” one agent said. “And it used to be, ‘Yeah, get me to New York.’ Even when they were struggling, there are guys who want to be in the city. But he was saying, ‘no, no, not that environment, not now.’ They’re not just alienating their own players, they’re alienating all players. They’re making things hard on themselves there.”
When Jackson was asked at the draft combine if Porzingis will face any disciplinary action for missing the exit meeting without notification, he was unclear. “I won’t talk about it,’’ Jackson said. “That’ll come out when it does.” According to the players association, no fine has been levied yet by the Knicks.
Though Longstaff was only informed recently, the sources stated Knicks brass had decided on Longstaff’s fate prior to Porzingis blowing off his exit meeting after the season, which created a divide between player and team. Those sources state the Longstaff decision was in no way president Phil Jackson’s way of firing a warning shot toward the disgruntled Porzingis. Of all the assistants, Longstaff was closest to Porzingis. Two sources said the 33-year-old Longstaff, for all his acclaim as a good workout guy with young players, had difficulty blending in with Knicks coaches he had not worked with in Oklahoma City during his three seasons at the Garden.
Janis Porzingis, brother and agent of Kristaps Porzingis, met recently with Jackson, a source confirmed to The Post, after the Knicks big man blew off his exit meeting in April.
General manager Steve Mills didn’t attend the meeting because he was out of town, but it doesn’t appear anything was resolved between Porzingis and the team. Porzingis is upset at the chaotic nature in which the franchise has been run.
Knicks president Phil Jackson met recently with Kristaps Porzingis’ brother to discuss some of the issues that prompted the Latvian star to skip out on his exit meeting, the Daily News has learned.
However, the lengthy sit-down in New York accomplished very little to bridge the chasm as Jackson remained steadfast in his ways and direction, according to a team source.
Apparently Porzingis can’t do much about the future, either, with Jackson unrelenting in his philosophies while aiming to increase his influence over the coaching staff. According to sources, one of Jackson’s objectives is to tailor the workouts and training sessions around learning the triangle offense.
Ian Begley: Walt Frazier says he doesn’t want to see Carmelo Anthony leave the Knicks. He says Carmelo isn’t the Knicks’ problem. Defense is.
Some opposing executives scratch their heads at how Knicks president Phil Jackson appears to be handling Anthony’s situation. “Phil made a statement basically that Carmelo’s a losing type of player. Well, if he’s a loser for the Knicks, he’s going to be a winner someplace else? That obviously didn’t help,” one Eastern Conference executive said.
“Tremendously,” another exec said when asked how much Jackson may have damaged Anthony’s trade value. “He essentially said, ‘I want to dump this guy.’ ”
“Most owners would just roast you if you said something like that,” the Eastern exec said, theorizing the return for Anthony could be “a protected first-round pick. It sure sounds like the Knicks want to get rid of him so teams won’t give up any of their core to add him. That would be defeating the purpose.”
Nick Friedell: Phil on Melo situation: “I think I expressed what I felt. I can’t express it any better.”
Lamenting a lost opportunity to hash out the Latvian’s concerns, Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek revealed he texted disgruntled forward Kristaps Porzingis recently but hadn’t received a response.
In becoming the first Knicks official to react to Porzingis blowing off his exit meetings after the season, Hornacek said at the NBA Draft Combine he has “no doubt in my mind” Porzingis will be on the roster next season, saying it’s “a long summer” to resolve any issues.
“Again, he decided not to come to the meeting,” Hornacek said. “It would’ve been a great opportunity to talk about what he sees, but we figure it’s a long summer. We’ll end up talking to him, and all that stuff coming into next year will be fine.”
Kristaps Porzingis’ brother Janis Porzingis said the Knicks forward wishes to remain in New York but also wants the club to create an environment conducive to player development and winning. His brother made it clear that if traded, Porzingis intends to play out his contract and test free agency. “Kris wants to stay in New York; he feels at home there. There is no question about it. The only thing he wants is for the Knicks to create an environment where he can develop and grow as a player and win,” Janis Porzingis said in an interview with ESPN. “If he were traded, he would play out his contract and head into free agency, where he can choose his own destiny.”
Kristaps Porzingis sent out a brief and briefly lived message Saturday night reading, “LA Clippers,” followed by three smiling faces. The tweet was quickly deleted, and Porzingis offered no explanation.
Several teams reached out to the New York Knicks to talk about possible trades for Kristaps Porzingis in the days after he skipped his exit meeting with Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills, league sources told ESPN.
It is unclear if the discussions led to any substantial trade parameters. Teams were inquiring about trading for Porzingis, 21, after he showed his frustration with the direction of the franchise by skipping the meeting.
Porzingis hasn’t spoken with the Knicks since skipping the exit meeting. He left for his home country of Latvia late last month and plans to play for the Latvian national team in the European Championships this offseason.
Is the Jackson-Anthony feud too far gone for a reconciliation? “Not from what I’ve been through with Phil,’’ Bryant told The Post on Wednesday in an interview to promote the short being shown at the festival through Saturday. “Michael had his rough times with him as well. The history is you get through rough times after you win a good amount of championships. We certainly had our rocky times, but we still stuck to it, we figured out our way through it and came out better because of it. I think the most important thing is sticking to it, being patient. Sometimes things work out. Sometimes they don’t.”
Bryant revealed he has lost touch with his buddy, Anthony, whom Jackson publicly stated he wants to trade. “From my experience, from what I had with Phil — again it’s a different situation, he was coaching the team — but you can get through rocky times,’’ Bryant said. “They certainly were there in Chicago and when he was in L.A. But the championships can overshadow that.’’
Bryant hasn’t given up on Jackson as Knicks president. “The responsibilities are different, that’s for sure,’’ Bryant said. “I’m not sure of his relationships with the players, how often. I do know his mind and how he thinks about the game and processes it and sees things in its entirety, the big picture of it. I still trust that judgment.’’
The Latvian magazine also asked Porzingis about the Carmelo Anthony-Jackson collision. According to the translation provided, Porzingis said: “This was a situation media did not hesitate to heat up more than it was in reality. I think there was some mistakes from Phil — things he maybe shouldn’t [have] said or written, things that made the situation worse or made him not look good. But at the same time — it’s that kind of business. I understand.’’
Bass also wrote the incident will “not change the league’s long-standing policy of leaving individual ticketing decisions and policies to its teams.” Bass did not immediately return an inquiry from The Post about whether there is any circumstance in which the league would step in regarding an owner’s refusal to renew a fan’s season tickets. The Garden also declined comment. “I am surprised, considering how professional Silver has been,’’ Hamersky told The Post. “The older I get, I’ve grown skeptical. Money talks. When the most-valued team has a guy who owns the building and regional cable network, they are going with profit over fan expression.’’
Five days after skipping exit meetings with management over frustration with the franchise, Kristaps Porzingis told the New York Post that he loves New York, indicating he wants to remain with the Knicks. “Of course, I love New York. I love New York,” Porzingis said in an interview outside of his Manhattan apartment complex.
Porzingis declined to comment about his decision to skip exit meetings Wednesday. “It’s not the right moment to comment on anything [about it],” he told the Post. “I don’t want to say anything.”
According to team sources, Porzingis is frustrated with the Knicks’ lack of direction. Under Jackson, the Knicks have struggled in Porzingis’ two seasons in New York, losing a combined 101 games. The team missed out on the playoffs for the fourth straight season.
According to sources, Jackson and the coaching staff have dispersed for a brief respite now that the season is over. Team brass is in the dark on why Porzingis declined to show. “It wasn’t right,” said one individual familiar with Jackson’s feelings on the blow-off. “But Phil went through this with Kobe [Bryant] and Andrew [Bynum], when they were still young but started to sprout their opinions and rebelled. It worked for Kobe. Hopefully this will make Kristaps better in the long run.”
We’re told the couple’s had ups and downs in the past, but the current NBA season has been extremely stressful on the marriage for several months. Carmelo’s been plagued by trade talks … with the Knicks looking to move him to another team.
Porzingis passed on the exit interviews, as ESPN’s Ian Begley first reported, and league sources say Porzingis is planning a long trip back to Latvia that may not include a return to New York until closer to the start of training camp. Porzingis isn’t alone. Players are privately fuming that they want no part of the organization’s summer slate of triangle offense regimen at the team’s suburban New York practice facility, league sources told The Vertical. In reality, there’s an open rebellion to the triangle – for the offense itself, and by extension, the discord and dysfunction that its implementation has burdened upon everyone.
He trusted former coach Derek Fisher and the individual instruction delivered to him, league sources said. Beyond Jackson’s anger with Fisher moving away from the triangle, there were disagreements about how to use Porzingis in the offense and about how to approach his skill development, league sources said.
Ohm Youngmisuk: NBPA executive director Michele Roberts labeled Phil Jackson’s comments on likely splitting with Carmelo Anthony as “inappropriate” and spoke with Adam Silver about it. “We voiced with the Commissioner today our view on the inappropriate comments by Knicks President Phil Jackson,” Roberts said in a NBPA statement. “If players under contract cannot, under threat of league discipline, speak openly about their desire to be employed elsewhere, we expect management to adhere to the same standards. The door swings both ways when it comes to demonstrating loyalty and respect.”
According to a source, Porzingis was disappointed throughout the season with how the franchise is being run. Porzingis still has two years left on his rookie contract. On Wednesday, when the Knicks finished their season with a 31-51 record, Porzingis didn’t sound like he wanted to hear the term “rebuilding.’’
Porzingis is frustrated with the lack of direction with the Knicks, which is headed by team president Phil Jackson.
Al Iannazzone: League source confirms @Ian Begley report that Porzingis skipped his exit interview because of frustration over all Knicks’ drama.
Michael Scotto: LeBron James is the latest NBA superstar to LIKE the Carmelo Anthony Instagram post directed towards Knicks President Phil Jackson.
Al Iannazzone: Phil said knicks want a “significant player” for Carmelo
Lenn Robbins: Phil Jackson on @New York Knicks Our starters never really had a consistency of play..injuries prevented chemistry..The buck stops here
Those with knowledge of the dynamic between Anthony and the Knicks believe that, while no final decision has been made, Anthony is leaning strongly toward waiving the no-trade clause at this point. Anthony said on Wednesday night that he’d “love” to be back, but wants assurances that the Knicks are committed to winning.
Barring something unforeseen — such as a highly unlikely scenario in which Jackson and Anthony find common ground during their exit meeting on Thursday — the Knicks remain committed to moving Anthony this offseason, according to league sources.
No matter what is said publicly, some in the organization believe the only thing that would keep Anthony on the Knicks in 2017-18 is if owner James Dolan fires team president Phil Jackson, which is now highly unlikely, since the Knicks and Jackson quietly picked up their option on the remaining two years of his contract this spring, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.
There may have been speculation that the standoff between Jackson and Melo would end with Jackson walking away or the Knicks declining their option on his deal, but sources told ESPN the options were picked up “awhile ago.” Knicks owner James Dolan publicly reinforced his commitment to Jackson in a February 10 radio interview on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN New York 98.7 FM when he said, ” he planned to honor his five-year contract with Jackson “all the way to the end.”
The back-and-forth between Anthony, Hornacek and Rambis in March was but one example of the instability that plagued the 2016-17 Knicks. It typified a divide caused by some players’ lack of faith in the defensive game plan under associate head coach Rambis and Hornacek’s use of the triangle offense, according to sources.
Anthony acknowledged that it was “hard to trust” Jackson after the team president’s veiled criticisms earlier in the season. “If somebody was talking bad about you indirectly at your job, what would you do? You would feel a certain way,” he said. “You would want that person to come straightforward with you. And I feel the same way. I’m always open; I’m a very honest person. I know the business and I know the game and I know how it works. So if it’s something that you want to get across, a message that you want to get across, I’ve always been open.”
The season-ticket holder/heckler whom owner James Dolan called “an a–hole” said he is being prevented from renewing his partial-plan tickets for next season. The deadline for keeping the same seats is Tuesday. Mike Hamersky told The Post his attempts were rebuffed when a Knicks phone agent put him on hold twice, then he got disconnected. The third time, after saying his name, he was hung up on. Hamersky, a 35-year-old attorney from Astoria, said he earlier tried to renew online but claimed he was frozen out of his account. He also said he had not had any emails returned to him, and a call to his individual ticket agent went to voicemail. “If they’re revoking my tickets at least have the courtesy to tell me,’’ Hamersky told The Post.
Ian Begley: Mike Hamersky, the Knicks fan who was involved in run-in with Knicks owner James Dolan last week, says that he was unable to reach his ticket representative today to renew his season tickets. He says he attempted to contact the representative several times today. He also says he was also unable to log in to his account on the website to renew his ticket package electronically.
Ian Begley: Hamersky called a ticket representative and was able to re-set his password but then found that there was no option to renew for next year on his account. In an attempt to clarify the situation, Hamersky called the number again twice and the call was disconnected after he reached a representative. The Garden said they had ‘nothing to add’ when asked if Hamersky would be permitted or prohibited from renewing his season tickets.
Ian Begley: Stephon Marbury says it’s great to be back at MSG and he thinks Phil can turn things around if the Knicks change their culture.
Adam Silver has no problem with one of his owners verbally abusing a fan. The NBA commissioner said the league has no plans to get involved in the latest James Dolan dust-up, in which Dolan called Knicks fan Mike Hamersky an “a–hole” and got in his face for shouting at him to “sell the team” on Tuesday.
“My response is I think there is enormous attention in this market in particular focused on ownership and interactions with ownership,” the NBA commissioner said Friday in midtown Manhattan, in a press conference following a meeting of the Board of Governors. “It’s not something we typically get involved in. Certainly to the extent if the fan was to reach out to us, we would respond as we would to any fan. I’m not particularly concerned about that incident. It seemed that it was handled in the normal course.”
Armed with a five-year, $124.9 million deal that includes a no-trade clause, Anthony has long maintained that he had no intention of leaving after pushing for a trade to come to New York. But sources on both sides have indicated they believe Anthony will be dealt this summer if Jackson can find a suitable trading partner. But the chaos caused by Jackson may have been where this season went wrong.
Ian Begley: NBA commissioner Adam Silver essentially said the league is not going to get involved in Jim Dolan’s most recent run-in with a Knicks fan.
If you’re looking for reasons why the New York Knicks performed so far below expectations this season, there are plenty to choose from. The roster didn’t fit well, they never figured out how to defend as a unit and players never got comfortable running the triangle portions of Jeff Hornacek’s offense. “We were trying to learn an offense that guys didn’t really know,” ex-Knick Brandon Jennings said Thursday night, after his Wizards handed the Knicks their 49th loss of the season.
Outside The Lines: In his own words – A fan’s confrontation with Knicks owner James Dolan.
The Knicks as they’re built will never win, according to Dennis Rodman. And the man they call “The Worm” said part of the reason is because Carmelo Anthony — and the rest of today’s millennial players — can’t handle team president Phil Jackson.
“People always say, ‘Phil Jackson’s a [expletive deleted]. No, he’s not,’’ Rodman said. “The people’s mind-age now can’t handle the Phil Jacksons, or people like him, that mentally thing, man. Because Phil Jackson lets you be a man first; that’s the first thing he’ll let you do.’’
Dennis Rodman: “And people like Anthony and all you guys, stuff like that, that’s called pressure, man.’ That’s pressure. Especially in New York. They want to win in New York; they will never win in New York. They’ll never win in New York. I’m just saying. Even though he’s a great athlete, great player, he’ll never win in New York. And it’s a great city, though.”
Mike Hamersky, a 35-year-old attorney, was drinking a beer near the lobby of the Garden while waiting for a friend before the Knicks-Bulls game when Dolan walked past. Hamersky said he shouted, “Sell the team, Jim!” before Dolan angrily approached him. “That’s all I yelled,” Hamersky told The Post in a phone interview. “He continued to walk past me, opened the limo door, then closed the door, turned around and walked all the way back and said, ‘Who said that?’”
Mike Hamersky, a self-described New York Knicks superfan and season ticket holder from Astoria, claims that team owner James Dolan got in his face last night outside Madison Square Garden and screamed mean things.
Asked about the allegations, Dolan tells Deadspin: Hell, yeah, I did! “I did call him an asshole,” Dolan tells me, “because he is an asshole.”
Dolan asked Mike Hamersky what he did for a living, and Hamersky told him he’s a lawyer. “I think he was surprised to hear that,” Hamersky says. Hamersky says Dolan then yelled, “What if I showed up at your office and called you an asshole? Because you are an asshole!”
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July 22, 2017 | 3:48 pm EDT Update
League sources told ESPN that both Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns have been doing their part to recruit Irving on the idea of playing alongside them in Minnesota, and they’ve made it known to Wolves management that they want to add the Cavs star to the mix. Butler and Irving became tight in their time playing for USA Basketball together. Towns’ father, Karl Towns Sr., and Irving’s father, Drederick Irving, are connected through the basketball scene in northern New Jersey, where they both reside.
French forward/center Kevin Seraphin has emerged as a player that interests Barcelona, according to Mundo Deportivo. Seraphin, 27, signed a two-year deal with the Indiana Pacers in the previous summer but the second year of the contract is not guaranteed. The Pacers have until August 1 to decide if they will keep him for 2017/2018 or not.
The Thunder’s 2015 second-round draft pick on Saturday signed a contract with the club after spending the past two seasons playing for the Oklahoma City Blue, the franchise’s development franchise in what’s now known as the NBA G League. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a source Johnson will make the NBA rookie minimum of $815,615 in his first season. The Vertical reported this week the contract is for two years.