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Ex-Knick wonders if he’s $1.3M victim of Phil Jackson firing

ORLANDO, Fla. — Mo Ndour showed up Sunday at the Orlando summer league a free agent. The defensive forward from Senegal realizes Phil Jackson’s firing earlier this week likely cost him $1.3 million.

Jackson didn’t text a lot of players after he was dismissed, but he texted Ndour, whom the Knicks cut hours before free agency Friday after their second summer-league practice. Had Ndour, 25, lasted until midnight, his $1.3M pact would have been guaranteed.

“Basically they needed some space in the salary cap,’’ Ndour said after the Knicks explained the decision. “That’s what they say. It had nothing to do with basketball. Just business.’’

Ndour’s biggest fan in the organization was top Jackson adviser Clarence Gaines Jr. The Post reported last winter Ndour made the club over Chasson Randle because of Gaines’ insistence. Now Gaines’ influence is lessened, with GM Steve Mills becoming acting president and in line to potentially inherit the gig permanently. Coach Jeff Hornacek, though, did not rule out re-signing Ndour if he doesn’t sign elsewhere.

“All I can say is Phil is the main reason I was here with the Knicks,’’ Ndour said when asked if this would’ve happened had Jackson not been canned. “Whether I’d stay with the Knicks or not, I have no idea.

Ndour said he was surprised at the firing.

“But it’s the nature of the business. He texted me and wished me good luck. I got caught in the NBA budget zone.’’

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Ndour was the Knicks’ summer-league sensation in 2015, but Dallas signed him. The Knicks got him back for training camp last year, and he made the squad and played 32 NBA games and 10 for D-League Westchester. The Knicks are trying to develop their young players, but for now at least, Ndour won’t be one of them.

Jackson talked about “rebellion’’ in the locker room to his triangle system, and Ndour hinted there was some concern about the offense.

“Definitely the locker room was OK, guys got along, you can see the camaraderie,’’ Ndour said. “Whether the triangle was a good fit or not, I don’t know.”

Asked if the Knicks are in chaos, Ndour smiled broadly.

“What I’m going to say on that I really can’t say much as a player,’’ said Ndour, who is expecting to sign with another team for Las Vegas’ summer-league. “Players can just go out and play and let management take care of things. I can’t get involved with what’s going on. You control what you can control.

In a tweet, Ndour stated: “Thanks to the Knicks organization for the opportunity. It’s been a hell of a journey and I hope they find what they looking for #toohotfidem.”

Source: http://nypost.com/2017/07/02/ex-knick-wonders-if-hes-1-3m-victim-of-phil-jackson-firing/

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