When Kristaps Porzingis skipped out on his exit interview after the 2016-17 season, it was reported he had a major issue with then-New York Knicks president Phil Jackson. But it wasn’t the now-departed Zen Master who was the problem. No, head coach Jeff Hornacek apparently was the main target of the Latvian star’s ire.
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 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.
The rest of the details in the piece are fascinating. Apparently at one point, Porzingis developed a habit of parking in spots designated for management at the team’s practice facility. Additionally, while Hornacek was fairly brutal to the 22-year-old star, he never said anything to Carmelo Anthony.
It is a perfect illustration of just how screwed up the Knicks are. Their head coach went after the franchise’s young superstar instead of the aging anchor that is Carmelo Anthony. This is what owner James Dolan has brought to one of the NBA’s glamour franchises.