Knicks president Phil Jackson did an interview with Al Trautwig on MSG Networks on Wednesday night while rumors that the franchise is considering trading their best player, the 7-foot-3 unicorn Kristaps Porzingis, were circulating.
Jackson confirmed that the Knicks are listening to offers from other teams and then went on to explain why it was so “surprising” to him that Porzingis skipped his exit meeting at the end of the season.
The reason it was so shocking was that, according to Jackson, he doesn’t “think” he “has ever had a player over 25 years of coaching, maybe 30, not coming to an exit meeting.”
“It’s not happened to me. I know it happens to other people and other players. His brother and his agent downplayed it, but still it’s a chance for a person to express themselves and I had a real good relationship with Kristaps over the last two years, so it was kind of surprising.”
The thing is, it has happened to Jackson before – twice – which he seems to have forgotten about, blocked out of his memory or simply chose not to mention.
- The first time was when Shaquille O’Neal opted not to schedule an exit interview with the Lakers in 2003. At the time, Jackson said he was “upset” and called it “disrespectful to us as a staff,” per the Associated Press.
The 2003 incident ended with O’Neal admitting he made a mistake and rescheduling the meeting.
- The second time was also with O’Neal, and it happened the very next year in 2004. This time, per ESPN, O’Neal canceled his exit interview with the Lakers, and the next season he was on the Miami Heat.