New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis skipped his exit meetings with front office personnel because of his displeasure with the "dysfunction" and "drama" that has enveloped the franchise, according to ESPN.com's Ian Begley.
Newsday's Al Iannazzone confirmed the report.
News of Porzingis' decision to spurn a sit-down with Knicks brass comes on the same day Knicks president Phil Jackson told reporters he believes Carmelo Anthony "would be better off somewhere else," per the New York Times' Mike Vorkunov.
Following Jackson's media availability, Anthony posted a picture on Instagram that appeared to acknowledge the comments:
While the post itself was noteworthy, Porzingis' decision to like it, as captured by Sports Illustrated, could have been viewed as an endorsement of the 10-time All-Star's stance:
Sports Illustrated @SInow
👀👀👀👀👀👀 https://t.co/qZIRFpGXPx4/14/2017, 9:25:55 PM
The Knicks' 2016-17 season was defined by turmoil, specifically as it related to the relationship between Jackson and Anthony. Not only did the two engage in something of a public feud, but the team reportedly reached out to several contenders to gauge their interest in a possible trade.
However, a deal never came to fruition—in part because Anthony has a no-trade clause that gave him veto power over any deal the team could have presented him.
As far as Porzingis goes, the Knicks can't afford to see another star turn against management.
The 21-year-old is the only young cornerstone the Knicks have to build around right now, and rankling him further would damage the team's future prospects—which are currently cloudy given its dearth of a concrete foundation and Anthony's sinking trade stock.
And for the time being, this appears to be Jackson's mess to clean up. According to Begley and ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, the Knicks picked up the the remaining two years on Jackson's contract sometime this spring.