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.”
Some scouts don’t know what to make of him. “Call him different,’’ Jazz vice president of player personnel Walter Perrin told The Post. “He has his own style — something Jerry instilled in his scouts. They sit away from people and keep to themselves. Jerry didn’t want his people talking to anybody. It gives them an opportunity to concentrate on what they’re there for.’’
Steve Popper: Will Perdue joined the NBA on TuneIn’s Two Man Weave radio show with Michael Rapaport & Kenyon Martin and gave his take on Phil and Melo: “I wish I could make heads or tails of it…One thing I can tell you is that he was very good at using the media to help motivate players. I kind of recognize what he’s doing in terms of Carmelo, trying to aggravate him and kind of goad him into playing better, but it just seems like Carmelo wants nothing to do with it.”
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.