The Joakim Noah debacle in New York just keeps getting worse. Late last month, the Knicks organization announced that the oft-injured center had been essentially exiled from the team as the front office explored trade scenarios, though they were unable to make any headway on a deal prior to the February trade deadline.
For now, Noah remains with the Knicks, and his banishment is in no small part due to an “altercation” between him and head coach Jeff Hornacek during a practice session in January.
Reportedly upset over a lack of playing time and an uncertain role in the team’s future plans, Noah and Hornacek got into what was initially characterized as a “heated verbal exchange.” A new report, however, paints a more serious confrontation, with the added twist of Hornacek as the alleged aggressor.
Via the New York Daily News:
Noah was banished from the Knicks after an altercation with coach Jeff Hornacek during a practice last month. The disagreement stemmed from Noah’s lack of playing time, and it turned physical the day after he logged only five minutes against the Warriors.
While no punches were thrown, the Daily News learned that Hornacek was the first to shove Noah before they had to be separated.
After failing to move Noah at the deadline, the Knicks now face the prospect of buying out his remaining contract, which has two years remaining on the four-year, $72 million deal Phil Jackson inked him to in the summer of 2016. Until the two parties can come to terms, Noah and a large chunk of the Knicks’ cap space will remain in limbo, which is a mutually detrimental situation for both sides.