At the end of last season, Knicks center Kristaps Porzingis blew off an exit interview with ex-GM (now team president) Steve Mills and ex-team president (now unemployed) Phil Jackson. While, at the time, that move was open to speculation, thanks to a recent interview by Porzingis' brother/agent Janis we now know that it was a calculated move by to send a message to the organization. Perhaps you had already guessed that.
"That wasn’t an emotional decision. It wasn’t a spontaneous action," Janis said to Latvian website Sportacentrs, which was then translated by Eurohoops. "We had been thinking about it for a long time and it was considered an honest, well-thought decision we came up with together. It was a logical next step for us, without which we would’ve been in one situation, but now after we did it — we are in another."
Janis also sent out what appears to be a shot at ex-Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, whom he said was not fighting "for something." Which sounds like he's saying Carmelo didn't care about the fact that the team was going down the crapper during his run there.
"It’s interesting how many people who are even somehow involved in all of this, have criticized [the missed meeting] afterward as something so unprofessional!!" Kristaps' bro added. "Just look at Melo, how he is handling things… And I’m thinking, ‘Wait a minute.’
"In reality, if he for once decided to fight for something, we wouldn’t be in this situation and Kristaps wouldn’t be forced to take all the damage on himself. It wasn’t done for some personal interest or ambitions or dislike for someone, it was for the sake of overall peace. It should have been a task for the team’s leaders, but Melo and people around him never tried to change anything."
Finally, Janis added that Kristaps is open to being a part of the team's future plans, so long as they don't "upset him."
"First — it’s a long time before signing a new deal," he said, ominously. "Second — there are so many things that can happen in the season, so it’s a waste of time thinking about it now. He needs to be healthy and play his game. And even that is conditional since we know that [Joel] Embiid was recently awarded a maximum contract for 30 games.
“The most important question here is this: What do you really want to achieve in your career? Because money — if Kristaps performs at least on his normal level — is gonna come. We are more focused on some other values and not just to quickly sign a new contract so we can collect the money. That’s definitely not our goal, so we won’t be feverishly counting minutes or counting points.
“You can’t escape the reality and the Knicks must also see that," Janis adds. "From their point of view, Kristaps is the focal point at the moment, so you cannot upset him much or otherwise, at the end of the season, he will say, ‘It’s not so cool here.’ The second question is: Who is the New York audience coming to watch now? To a large extent, it’s Kristaps. So the organization has to take that into account."
Sounds like their sports interviews are a little different in Latvia. Well, that, or this is another calculated move. Either way, stay strong Knicks fans, maybe this is the kick in the ass the organization needs to straighten up.