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Phil Jackson Fired Kristaps Porzingis' Favorite Assistant Coach And I Am Officially Worried As A Knicks Fan

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NYDN- As their relationship with Kristaps Porzingis sits on rocky terrain, the Knicks made a curious decision to not renew the contract of popular assistant Josh Longstaff, the Daily News has learned. Longstaff was one of the few remaining holdovers of Derek Fisher’s original staff, but more importantly he developed a connection with multiple current players — most notably Porzingis — and went overseas last year to help train the Latvian forward. Porzingis had even requested that Longstaff serve as an assistant on his Latvian national team this summer for the European championships, as The News previously reported.

The reasons for cutting ties with Longstaff are unclear, but a member of the organization called him the hardest worker on the staff. It’s worth noting the Knicks are moving forward with a heavy focus on the triangle at all levels of the organization, including Longstaff’s former role in player development. Longstaff, 34, assisted last season in the improvement of young rotation players, with Willy Hernangomez and Ron Baker taking large and unexpected leaps. In seasons prior, he did the same for Lance Thomas and Langston Galloway. Player development was one of the few bright spots in Phil Jackson’s tenure.

Well there goes all the happy feelings Knicks fans had after the rumors of Pablo Prigioni potentially coming to New York as an assistant coach were floating around on Friday. Knicks fans truly can’t have nice things. And by nice things I’m not talking about a superduperstar like LeBron. Having Priggie Smalls back in The Garden would be a huge W. But a player like LeBron is like winning the lottery. Getting Prigioni would be like winning a free iced coffee.

But even that little bit of good mojo looks to be gone as it appears Phil Jackson has dug his heels in against our Latvian savior and I would imagine the only losers here are going to be the Knicks and their fans. Phi has two more years to act like a crazy old fuck and piss off the future of the franchise. If you know anything about old people, it’s that they stick by their beliefs no matter what. Maybe it’s something innocent like refusing to use a phone. Maybe it’s something not so innocent like some hardcore racism. But their heels are usually dug in. Times that by about a million when it comes to Phil Jackson who was pretty unwavering about his beliefs back when he had some of the best players in the NBA running his system. And if you cross an old asshole like Phil, you are on his “list”, which is probably written using pencil and paper.

Then on the other side of this you have Kristaps Porzingis. A player that finally stood up for the Knicks fans that are sick of the way this franchise has been run. Did he miss his meeting because he’s sick of Phil’s bullshit? Probably. Is he tired of the James Dolan black cloud hanging over The Garden? Hard to imagine he isn’t.

However KP said he wants to stay a Knick despite all this bullshit and even sent his brother/pseudo agent Janis to meet with Phil about the issues that were going on.

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I’ll give the ladies a minute to catch their breath. The Porzingises raise them handsome.

Anyway here’s the story.


NYDN- Knicks president Phil Jackson met recently with Kristaps Porzingis’ brother to discuss some of the issues that prompted the Latvian star to skip out on his exit meeting, the Daily News has learned. However, the lengthy sit-down in New York accomplished very little to bridge the chasm as Jackson remained steadfast in his ways and direction, according to a team source.

Kristaps was overseas while Janis Porzingis – who is also Kristaps’ agent – represented his younger brother. It’s unclear what they specifically discussed but Kristaps’ discontent with the organization’s dysfunction turned public after the 21-year-old passed on attending his exit meeting last month.

I was only in Latvia for like 4.5 days, but the one thing I learned about them is they are tough motherfuckers. Being neighbors with the Russians when you are a tiny country that went through some shit in the Cold War with those country grabbing commies will do that to you. If Phil thinks he is going to wait out the Porzingis family when their grandparents were probably fighting off Stalin and the KGB back in the day, he has another thing coming. They’ll probably bicker for the last two years of Phil’s contract that James Dolan ridiculously extended and then both will be thrilled to leave this roaring dumpster fire. I don’t care if John Longstaff was the shittiest coach in the planet. You keep him around to keep KP happy. Pat Ewing had the beloved Herb Williams playing on the Knicks for years despite, um, VERY limited production. James Jones was basically LeBron’s caddy during all his runs to the Finals. Those guys actually took up roster spots. KP’s coach is a guy that has gotten real development out of young players, which granted is not the way the Knicks usually do things. They like to overpay for other teams’ aging stars instead of raising young stars of their own.

And lest I forget to mention that this is an assistant coach that still has a job with the Knicks, despite the fact that he was the assistant in charge of defense for a team that finished 25th in defensive efficiency this season when he wasn’t (probably) snitching to Phil.

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And lest I forget to mention that this is the team president feuding with the Knicks golden child, who by all accounts is a great dude.

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As always, fuck this franchise.

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