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Kristaps Porzingis blows off exit meeting with Phil Jackson and dysfunctional Knicks

Kristaps Porzingis blows off exit meeting with Phil Jackson and dysfunctional Knicks

Exit meetings after the NBA season is over are standard. Some players may successfully avoid the media horde that awaits them but they always talk with the coaches, front office personnel and sometimes the owner if he's present. Not Kristaps Porzingis. Not with the New York Knicks. 

After team president Phil Jackson said that Carmelo Anthony would be better off on another team, second-year forward Porzingis decided he'd had enough with the circus. He skipped the exit interviews, according to ESPN's Ian Begley:

Porzingis, according to team sources, is frustrated with the Knicks' lack of direction. The team missed out on the playoffs for the fourth straight season.

The club was pegged as a potential playoff contender this season, but struggled to develop any cohesion and stumbled through a 30-51 season.

Jackson spent $72 million on faded, oft-injured free-agent center Joakim Noah, who averaged 5.0 points and 8.7 rebounds in just 46 apperances. He traded for Derrick Rose, a 27% three-point shooting point guard to run the Triangle offense under first-year coach Jeff Hornacek who was being forced to use it.

[RELATED: Wizards rookie injured after kick by NBA player with black belt]

A starting point guard who can't shoot threes running the Triangle is like running motion offense with players who don't move well. Current Wizards guard Brandon Jennings, who requested his release from the circus to join a playoff team, still scoffs at what he experienced in New York. 

Porzingis, who averaged 18.1 points and 7.2 rebounds, probably could handle the 101 losses in his two seasons if there were signs of progress with the franchise. The Philadelphia 76ers have lost far more but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

In New York, there's only dysfunction as Jackson is allowed free reign by owner James Dolan. The crosstown Brooklyn Nets won fewer games. They don't even have draft picks as they pay for the sins of past bad decisions by ownership and the front office. 

The Nets, however, are still in a better place than the Knicks. 

[RELATED: Wizards Tipoff podcast, Ep. 8 - Gortat 1-on-1, playoff preview]

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LeBron James offended by Phil Jackson remark, Carmelo Anthony chimes in

LeBron James offended by Phil Jackson remark, Carmelo Anthony chimes in

Knicks president Phil Jackson must not have watched The Wire, or he'd know that if you come at the King, you best not miss.

Jackson offended Cavaliers star LeBron James with a comment he made to ESPN that characterized James' associates as a "posse." Here's the full quote. 

When LeBron was playing with the Heat, they went to Cleveland and he wanted to spend the night. They don't do overnights. Teams just don't. So now (coach Erik) Spoelstra has to text Riley and say, 'What do I do in this situation?' And Pat, who has iron-fist rules, answers, 'You are on the plane, you are with this team.' You can't hold up the whole team because you and your mom and your posse want to spend an extra night in Cleveland.

Maverick Carter, James' longtime friend and business partner, responded first on Monday. 

"I don't care that he talks about LeBron. [Jackson] could say he's not that good or the greatest in the world as a basketball player. I wouldn't care," Carter told ESPN

"It's the word 'posse' and the characterization I take offense to. If he would have said LeBron and his agent, LeBron and his business partners or LeBron and his friends, that's one thing. Yet because you're young and black, he can use that word. We're grown men."

James himself reacted to the "posse" comment in similar fashion Tuesday. He gave extensive comments to ESPN linking the term to dismissive attitudes about young black men. Two excerpts:

"It just sucks that now at this point having one of the biggest businesses you can have both on and off the floor, having a certified agent in Rich Paul, having a certified business partner in Maverick Carter, that's done so many great business [deals], that the title for young African-Americans is the word 'posse.'"

"To use that label, and if you go and read the definition of what the word 'posse' is, it's not what I've built over my career," James said. "It's not what I stand for, it's not what my family stands for. I believe the only reason he used that word is because he sees young African-Americans trying to make a difference."

The full comments are worth a read, time allowing. 

Carmelo Anthony, star of Jackson's Knicks and longtime friend of James, chimed in on the conversation Tuesday. 

Anthony more or less sides with James, agreeing that "posse" can sound offensive, though he stopped short of speculating about Jackson's intent.

To my mind, Anthony's most interesting point is about Jackson needling James in November. Why would the president of a 4-6 team antagonize the leader of an 8-1 team in the Eastern Conference, fresh off a championship, and favored heavily to win the conference again? 

It makes no sense to give the Cavaliers any extra motivation. Regardless of whether Jackson anticipated James would be offended by the word "posse," he should have known that no one takes kindly to being describes as bratty or high mantenance.

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