Thursday's Knicks Links: Afflalo, Rambis not on the same page

Arron Afflalo refutes Knicks coach Kurt Rambis’ claim they discussed demotion to bench: Arron Afflalo is confused why Kurt Rambis claims there was a conversation about his demotion to the bench. Rambis is adamant he spoke with his disgruntled player. Either way, it’s clear there is a standoff between a coach who wants a veteran to embrace a new role, and a player who doesn’t think it’s deserved. The rift is playing out embarrassingly through the media. -- New York Daily News

Kristaps Porzingis will need MRI after suffering shoulder injury on monster block: Kristaps Porzingis’ spectacular rejection made the highlight show rounds and also sent him to the injured list. Now he awaits an MRI to determine his status for the rest of the season. The Latvian rookie did not play Wednesday night in the Knicks’ 91-89 loss to the Mavericks because of a shoulder injury sustained Monday against the Pelicans, when he thwarted a dunk attempt from Alonzo Gee above the rim. -- New York Daily News

While Knicks still need fixing, Phil Jackson opts to go on vacation: Phil Jackson is either completely tone deaf or a diabolical genius daring James Dolan to give him upwards of $30 million to leave New York and return to Playa Del Rey, and into Jeanie Buss’ awaiting arms. There has to be a method to Phil’s madness, right? Jackson has become the ultimate Twitter troll of NBA executives. -- New York Daily News

Carmelo Anthony chokes away Knicks loss to Mavericks in front of Tony Romo: When in Romo... Appropriately, with Cowboys QB Tony Romo on the sideline, Carmelo Anthony choked it away. The Knicks star blew three opportunities to hit a potential go-ahead shot in the final 50 seconds, missing two jumpers before turning over the third try when the ball bounced off his knee. The sequence lowlighted a 91-89 defeat Wednesday to the Mavericks, representing a third-straight loss for the Knicks (30-46). -- New York Daily News

Carmelo Anthony fails on three attempts to win it for Knicks: Carmelo Anthony’s 31-point night turned into another losing performance when he failed miserably on three chances to win the game on a final possession at AmericanAirlines Center. It is the story of his Knicks’ stint, failing to close, as Dallas rallied late to upend them, 91-89, at AmericanAirlines Center. -- New York Post

Kristaps Porzingis’ electrifying block had consequences: Kristaps Porzingis’ rematch with Dirk Nowitzki was cancelled Wednesday for an MRI. Turns out the Knicks phenom re-injured his right shoulder on his devastating block on the Pelicans’ Alonzo Gee’s dunk attempt Monday night that went viral. Porzingis fell on his shoulder after the monster block. The Knicks believe it’s the same shoulder strain that beset Porzingis in January. Still, coach Kurt Rambis said an MRI exam is scheduled for Thursday to determine his timetable. -- New York Post

‘S–t won’t be forgotten’: Is Afflalo’s anger playing into Knicks’ hands?: Arron Afflalo moved closer to the end of his Knicks career Wednesday morning, issuing a cryptic Instagram post that contained a profanity and indicated he hasn’t grown this season. Afflalo further escalated the situation at the morning shootaround by denying interim coach Kurt Rambis’ assertion that “a conversation’’ had taken place about why he was demoted from the starting lineup. -- New York Post

David Lee doesn’t rule out return to the Knicks: A lighter David Lee has found a new home in Big D, but won’t rule out a return to New York this summer when he becomes a free agent. Lee revealed the Knicks inquired as he negotiated his buyout from the Celtics in late February. The Knicks had an open roster spot. -- New York Post

Afflalo, Rambis not on same page; Knicks fall to Mavs: Arron Afflalo and Kurt Rambis see things and remember them very differently. Afflalo has denied three different times, including Wednesday morning, that Rambis talked to him about recently going from starter to reserve. Rambis said they had spoken and that they had “an extensive conversation” Tuesday to clear up any “confusion.” -- Newsday

Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis will have MRI on shoulder: Kristaps Porzingis has a sore right shoulder and will undergo an MRI when the Knicks return to New York today. Porzingis thinks he hurt his shoulder when he stuffed New Orleans swingman Alonzo Gee’s dunk attempt in Monday’s loss to the Pelicans. He couldn’t raise his right arm and missed Wednesday night’s game. -- Newsday