According to the New York Daily News, the team has decided to cut ties with Longstaff, a holdover from Derek Fisher’s staff. Longstaff, 34, and Porzingis have developed a close relationship over the past two years, with the assistant coach, who was in charge of player development, even traveling to Latvia last year to train the young big man.
Porzingis skipped his exit interview with Knicks president Phil Jackson after the season ended, reportedly because he had grown frustrated with how the team is being run. He also did not ask for the Knicks’ blessing before committing to play for his native Latvia in the European Championships this summer.
It’s not clear why the Knicks chose not to retain Longstaff, but it might have something to do with the organization’s renewed focus on the triangle offense.
Jackson recently met with Porzingis’ brother, Janis, who is also one of his agents, about the issues that led the 21-year-old star to miss his exit interview, the Daily News reported. However, no substantial progress was made between the two sides, according to the report.
As of late last week, no member of the organization had spoken directly with Porzingis since he skipped the meeting, ESPN reported. According to the Daily News, Hornacek reached out to him via text message but received no response.
Janis Porzingis told ESPN his brother wants to remain a Knick but also wants the organization to “create an environment where he can develop and grow as a player and win.”
The Knicks have missed the playoffs each of the past four seasons and have lost at least 50 games three straight years.
Meanwhile, according to a Spanish report, the Knicks are considering hiring former point guard Pablo Prigioni as an assistant coach. The 40-year-old Argentinian played for the Knicks from 2012-15. He played in Spain last season, but was coaching players at the NBA Combine earlier this month.