When news broke that Kristaps Porzingis skipped his exit meeting with the New York Knicks’ brass after the season ended, it was initially reported Porzingis was unhappy with Phil Jackson and the Knicks’ lack of direction and constant dysfunction.
While that statement is true, a new report also suggests Porzingis’ relationship with his head coach, Jeff Hornacek, was just as poor as it was with Jackson.
Longtime NBA reporter Peter Vecsey recently published his latest Patreon column, and in it he revealed that Hornacek told Knicks big man Willy Hernangomez to tell Porzingis to “stop playing like a pu**y.”
Vecsey does note that he’s heard Porzingis and Hornacek are back on speaking terms.
Porzingis has shown plenty of flashes of being a star in the NBA. He finished this past season averaging 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game on 45 percent shooting from the field, 35.7 percent beyond the arc.
But Porzingis’ putrid post game is why he has to be considered a project still.
There are too many times where Porzingis will get pushed around in the paint by smaller players and not be able to score when he has a clear mismatch.
Porzingis finished the 2016-17 season shooting 33.5 percent on shots between three and nine feet of the basket. For someone who is 7-foot-3, that is a terrible percentage.
At his end of the year press conference, Jackson said Porzingis was cheating the game by venturing out to the three-point line instead of playing in the post more. Jackson, of course, is no longer with the franchise, something Porzingis is likely happy about.