Storyline: New York Knicks Turmoil?

453 rumors in this storyline

2 months ago via ESPN
“I was on the worst team in the league, and I wasn’t even playing because they thought I was too old to play,” Kanter said. “The situation and all the drama, it was so frustrating because all I wanted to do was go out there and just win. A couple of days ago, I looked in the mirror and said, ‘Man, I’m blessed to be here with an amazing organization and amazing teammates that trust in me.’ It definitely feels amazing, and it’s definitely a blessing.”

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Trier’s self-proclaimed nickname is “IsoZo” and Knicks coach David Fizdale levied praise on him as a bright spot, lauding his work ethic and overachievement as an undrafted player. Trier turned a two-way G-League contract into a spot on the 15-man roster in December. But there were warts. “His play on the court was cancerous,” one NBA source said. “A lot of guys didn’t like the way he didn’t play team ball. He cared about himself too much. He looked guys off who were open.’’

The same fans who continue making a huge emotional and financial investment every year when common sense tells them otherwise. Dolan has rewarded their loyalty with one playoff series victory since 2000. And if you don’t like the job he’s doing, you’d better keep that opinion to yourself or run the risk of being banned. That goes for reporters, former players and paying customers. “The commissioner needs to step in and do something, suspend him, something,” Charles Oakley told The Athletic. “He can’t keep getting away with it.”
5 months ago via ESPN

Porzingis, sidelined for nearly a year with an ACL injury, can become a restricted free agent this summer. Increasing tensions on both sides could culminate with the Knicks initiating trade talks prior to Thursday’s trade deadline or in the offseason to move Porzingis out of New York, league sources said. His uncertain standing with the Knicks has been the focus of multiple teams around the league, who’ve wondered if there would be pathway to acquire him, front office sources told ESPN.

They have gone 10-37 since, have already tied last season’s loss total (51) and bring a 27-51 record into their game against the Heat on Friday. “Yeah, man, 100 percent,’’ Lee said of Hornacek stepping up this season. “You got to realize, we were on a run early on, we hit adversity and you can’t blame anybody for that. Injuries happen. That’s the world we live in today. We have to blame somebody, right? You can’t control that.” When told a lot of fans blame Hornacek, Lee got testy. “For what, injuries?’’ Lee said. “For Tim having a stress fracture? For KP going down? How you blame coach for that? That’s a question for you. Can you answer that on the record?”

NBA officials are convinced Mills and Perry will look to bring in their own guy. There’s no shortage of potential candidates — Mark Jackson, Dave Fizdale, Doc Rivers, Jason Kidd, Jerry Stackhouse and David Blatt have all been mentioned in speculation. “That’s part of the NBA,’’ Lee said of the coach’s uncertainty. “Trade deadline, everybody is in trade talks, everybody is in free-agent talks. You got to go about your business. You can’t let that distract you and that’s the same thing for [coaches]. They hear the talk. You still have to go about your job so it’s all the same. It’s all about being professional.”

Courtney Lee takes pride in playing defense. He said not enough Knicks do. One day after the Knicks gave up a season-high 132 points to the Raptors, Lee said some players are letting the team down because they’re not playing with enough effort on defense. “I think you should be mad at yourself if you watch film and your teammates are calling you out,” Lee said after Monday’s practice. “You should not want to let them down, and if you’re seeing that it’s you repeatedly, if you don’t make that adjustment then that’s just telling us you don’t care. So I definitely at points get frustrated with it.”

Courtney Lee also said players should respond when the critiques are coming from teammates. “It’s beneficial that you hear it from your peers and not just always from the coach,” Lee said. “It’s a long season. The coaches continue to talk to you and get on you but eventually human nature, you get tired of hearing their voices. When you hear it from the people you hang out with the most and talk to the most and it’s coming from them, it definitely should have more of an effect on you.”

Knicks center Enes Kanter discounted Beasley’s claim the biggest issue is the offense playing selfishly, as the Knicks allowed 71 points in the second half after holding a three-point lead at intermission. “The first half we shared the ball,” Kanter said. “We just had problems in the second half. If we get it defensively, the offense will take care of itself. We can work on it. Defense is all about communication and trust. We have to trust and make each other better on the defensive end.”

Later on the Western trip, Noah left the club in Denver after a feud with coach Jeff Hornacek, who yanked him during garbage time during a blowout in Golden State on Jan. 23. The next day at practice, according to eyewitnesses, they engaged in a verbal shouting match with Noah being restrained. Hornacek never pushed Noah, according to multiple sources. In fact, indications are the Knicks mulled issuing Noah a suspension for his actions but decided against it. The separation has been called “mutual” by Knicks officials.

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.”
2 years ago via ESPN

New Knicks general manager Scott Perry says he’s keeping an “open mind” about Carmelo Anthony’s future with the club, but he expects to have Anthony on the roster next week during training camp. “Look, Carmelo’s going to be back here,” Perry said Friday at the team’s training facility. “Carmelo has always been a professional. That’s one thing I’ve always respected about him. I think he can set a good example for the young players. He’s been a 10-time All-Star. If he’s back here with the New York Knicks, we expect him to be the professional he’s always exemplified throughout his career and move forward with him.”
2 years ago via ESPN

Both the Knicks and Anthony remain committed to finding a scenario that ends with Anthony on another team, according to league sources. “We’ve just been in constant contact with he and his representatives and I won’t get into (the) weeds of the details of how far or how close we were to any type of deal,” Perry said. “At the end of the day, what we set out and what we said (in July was), if there was something there that made sense both for him and the Knicks’ organization, then we would strongly consider it. Obviously, we sit here today and that did not happen as of yet.”

Phil Jackson to Peter Vecsey: Peter, I heard your message via voice mail. I’m glad you’re going to get back in the mix and begin writing again. It’s a new world out there, but I don’t consider it journalism. However, sports writing has always been a mix of opinionating and you were one of the best. For my own part, I’m not able, yet, to begin opining. However, I’m still on hold about WTF just went down the past 3 years of Knick basketball. In that regard, I’m not angry, but disappointed I couldn’t fulfill the mission. Winning is a priority in NY and I couldn’t get those guys into at least a 500% season so we could get some free space to rebuild.
2 years ago via ESPN

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.

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.’’

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.
2 years ago via ESPN

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.

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.’’

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.”

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.
2 years ago via ESPN

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.”

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.’’

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.
2 years ago via ESPN

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.”
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June 15, 2019 | 8:13 pm EDT Update