Marc Berman: Kristaps: Says has "great relationship" with Hornacek, doesn't "know where it's coming from."
Barbara Barker: "I'm coming in with a fresh mind.The past is the past. " Kristaps Porzingis. pic.twitter.com/jiBGld9JEC
There is also the matter of reports, including several from the Daily News that Porzingis' relationship with Jeff Hornacek is on thin ice. Porzingis, who spoke to The News after he was spotted at a midtown eatery Sunday afternoon, declined to address the circumstances behind blowing off his end of the season meeting with Jackson, Hornacek and Steve Mills. The 22-year-old forward would only say, "Honestly, I would love for this year to be a new start. All I'm looking for is a fresh start and not to talk about that anymore."
Porzingis, however, does stand by his decision to return to Latvia and workout on his own. "It was important that I disconnected from everything," he added. "I was working on my game and resting my mind. I kept working hard this summer to put myself in this position. I'm coming in with a fresh mind. I don't want to carry anything from the previous season."
Q: Is Kristaps Porzingis ready to be “The Man”? Hornacek: I think back at Kobe Bryant, and we played them in the playoffs, and big part of the game, and he must have been a rookie, and he came down and took two shots from the elbow, kind of turnaround, typical Kobe Bryant, but he was young. He shot two air balls, and we win the game. But from that point on, you said: “OK, that kid’s gonna be good,” because he had no qualms about taking that shot. And that’s the development that KP is probably ready to go into, and to be that. I would never put that on a guy at this point to say, “Hey, you’re ‘The Guy.’ ” But you want him to have opportunities to grow into that.
“KP and I have a good relationship,” Hornacek said. “I’m not going to comment on any reports that say otherwise. We texted with him all summer. We followed him through Euro basket. We’re very happy with his conditioning, the way he played out there, the way he took on the role of leader for that Latvian team. I think he’s excited to get back. We’re excited to get back at it.”
According to a report by Peter Vecsey, Hornacek rode Porzingis hard last season and their feud culminated in explosive fashion. Willy Hernangomez is Porzingis’ best friend on the team, and at one point, Hornacek reportedly cornered the Spanish big man and told him to tell Porzingis to stop “stop playing like a pu**y.” That led Porzingis to skip out on his exit interview and basically shut down any relationship with his head coach. Vecsey does note that he’s heard Porzingis and Hornacek are back on speaking terms, either through text or through Hernangomez. We’ll see how long that lasts.
Hornacek's relationship with Porzingis isn't great, despite what the coach now says. And it certainly didn't improve once Porzingis' favorite assistant coach, Josh Longstaff, was fired.
September 21, 2021 | 9:35 pm EDT Update
Landry Shamet: Happy Retirement my friend. Showed me what it meant to be a pro the first day I met you. Forever grateful for you taking me under your wing. Thank you @jj_redick ✊🏽❤️ pic.twitter.com/Fw997NAglH
Keith Smith: Kevin Pangos got part of the Non-Taxpayer MLE from the Cleveland Cavaliers in a two-year deal: 21-22: $1,669,178 22-23: $1,752,637 Second season is fully non-guaranteed, becoming fully guaranteed on on the league-wide date of 1/10/22. @spotrac
Shams Charania: LeBron James organizing Lakers team minicamp in Las Vegas ahead of training camp – a similar chemistry-building function to the one hosted before the 2020 title season. Details: pic.twitter.com/Z9c4JnSW1E
The Vertical: Steph and Ayesha Curry renewed their wedding vows and their daughter Riley officiated 💕 (via @ayeshacurry) pic.twitter.com/UuqD0NruCc