Now, Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis and head coach David Fizdale are on the same page.
Porzingis called Fizdale on Friday morning to update him on his rehab from a torn ACL, Fizdale said, after the two had differing statuses regarding Porzingis' recovery.
Fizdale said on Thursday that Porzingis hadn't begun sprinting and was at the same stage in the recovery process as he was during the summer. Later that night, Porzingis took to his Instagram story to post two photos of him sprinting at a nearby outdoor track.
When they cleared the air, Porzingis told Fizdale the post was about Porzingis' frustration that he wasn't working hard in his rehabilitation, Fizdale said on Friday. Porzingis added a third photo in the aforementioned Instagram story: a meme of MMA fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov saying "This is number one bulls---."
"He took it personally," Fizdale said, according to ESPN's Ian Begley, of Porzingis, who averaged 22.7 points and 6.6 rebounds in 48 games last season before his injury. "It got to him that people would think that."
Fizdale said last month he understood how frustrating it can be for Porzingis to be sidelined for so long and empathized with him, but neither he nor Porzingis have a definitive timetable for when the former No. 4 pick will return to the court. Both sides are erring on the side of caution, and the team won't rush him back from the torn ACL he suffered in February.
"I have to be smart," Porzingis said in June, "and I have a team that will help me figure that out."
The miscommunication between Porzingis and Fizdale isn't the first time the 23-year-old star and the franchise have had tension.
Following the 2017 season, Porzingis skipped his exit interview with then-team president Phil Jackson as he publicly expressed his displeasure with the team's dysfunction and former head coach Jeff Hornacek.
Porzingis will be a restricted free agent next summer after he and the team did not reach an agreement on a rookie extension last month. The Knicks are able to match any offer from another team, as the franchise hopes he can still be its face in the long-term future.