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Kristaps Porzingis wants to spend career with New York Knicks but winning most important


In a late March interview with a Latvian sports magazine, Kristaps Porzingis said that he wanted to spend the rest of his career with the New York Knicks — but provided an important caveat.

“Absolutely, I want to stay here all my career. But the thing I want most of all is winning. When the time comes, I will seriously start to think about it. Right now I just try to do my best,” Porzingis said in Latvian magazine Sporta Avize, according to a translation published by the New York Post.

Porzingis, who has two years remaining on his rookie contract, has been frustrated with the Knicks recently.

The 21-year-old skipped exit meetings with team president Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills earlier this month due to frustration over what he perceives as the dysfunction and drama surrounding the organization, team sources told ESPN.

According sources, Porzingis is unhappy the Knicks’ lack of direction. Under Jackson, the Knicks have struggled in Porzingis’ two seasons in New York, losing a combined 101 games. New York was projected as a playoff team by some entering the 2016-17 season but struggled to develop any cohesion en route to a 31-win season.

The Knicks drew negative attention for several off-court situations this season.

In February, Jackson and the Knicks talked to several teams about trading Carmelo Anthony after Jackson shared opinions on Anthony that were perceived as criticisms of the 10-time All Star. Porzingis addressed Jackson’s handling of the Anthony situation in the March interview.

“This was a situation media did not hesitate to heat up more than it was in reality. I think there was some mistakes from Phil — things he maybe shouldn’t [have] said or written, things that made the situation worse or made him not look good. But at the same time — it’s that kind of business. I understand,” Porzingis said in an English translation of the interview published by the New York Post.

Porzingis, currently in his home country of Latvia, is scheduled to conducted a press conference there on Monday to announce that he will play with the Latvian national team this summer in the European Championships. He did not meet in person with the Knicks to discuss his frustration with the club prior to leaving for Latvia.

Information from ESPN’s Ian Begley was used in this report.

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