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Liberty Links: The Knicks continue to alienate Kristaps Porzingis

What is Phil Jackson doing?

NBA: New York Knicks at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks cut ties with Josh Longstaff, assistant who is close with Kristaps Porzingis - New York Daily News

Phil Jackson and the Knicks are running a clinic on how to alienate your team’s potential franchise superstar. No one in the organization has had contact with Kristaps Porzingis since he no-showed his end of the year exit interview with the team. Here’s the latest on the fiasco up I-95 in New York:

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-working 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.

What the hell are they doing? Jackson’s commitment to the triangle has been criticized ad nauseam, but how does he think his makes any sense? For a guy who had been so progressive in managing the personalities of modern, volitive superstars from Michael Jordan to Shaquille O’Neal to Kobe Bryant, how does he possess exactly zero foresight to see that there’s no place for the triangle in today’s NBA?

He’s doing this while pissing off Porzingis at every turn. A scenario where Porzingis forgoes signing an extension and accepts a qualifying offer to reach unrestricted free agency after five seasons of service isn’t out of the question, right? He’d be the first star to do that. I’m here for it too.

The Spirit of ’77: How the Blazers Won Portland - Portland Monthly

A transcendentally-talented center with an outsized personality who battled through numerous debilitating injuries throughout his career carried his team to a championship in 1977. This was a great read that had some eerie parallels between Bill Walton and Joel Embiid.

Oral History: The Wire's East-West Showdown - Sports Illustrated

For fans of The Wire (that’s basically everyone on the internet, right?), here’s the oral history of a defining moment for the HBO show.

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This is a testimony of LeBron James’ greatest performance, a legacy-saving 45-point, 15-rebound, five-assist effort on the road in an elimination game. On the heels of the Celtics’ gigantic upset last night, this should cheer your Boston-hating souls right up.

OG Anunoby aggressively rehabbing in effort to play in NBA next season - The Vertical

I’m rooting for Anunoby. I think he’s a top-10 talent in this year’s draft. He’s not quite in the Sixers range (or someone who fits super well in Philly), but I expect him to be a defensive menace in the league.

Miami Heat executive with harrowing ride to evaluating NBA draft - The Miami Sun-Sentinel

Adam Simon is the Heat’s assistant general manager. He began his time with the Heat as a video room intern. The unheralded front office executives that populate the league take a long and arduous road to get to where they are.

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