Phil Jackson Rumors

But Gaines shut out the noise, saw the very rare combination of a 7-foot-3 player who can shoot from deep, pass well and had an excellent vertical. After watching him live in Spain that February, he texted Jackson that Porzingis should be considered the No. 1 pick. “His argument for Kristaps Porzingis convinced me to make that out-of-the-box choice,’’ Jackson admitted in the email.
“Bit of an odd duck,’’ one NBA scout commented, “but he has our respect.’’ Gaines, the Knicks’ vice president of player personnel and Phil Jackson’s most trusted adviser, does not treat the gym like a cocktail party, rather a place to zero in on the finest details of players. “Clarence has a dogged nature to find out what makes a player tick,’’ Jackson wrote in an email Friday to The Post. “He says that when he watches a player, he has to be ‘moved’ to get intrigued by his talent.”
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.