In a press conference last Friday, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson was asked about Carmelo Anthony‘s future with the team. He responded saying Anthony “would be better off somewhere else and using his talent somewhere where he can win or chase that championship.”
Carmelo Anthony Drama to Lead to Unhappy Ending With New York Knicks
Antony was quick to respond with shade off his own, posting this Instagram picture with the caption “REALLY” followed by two laughing emojis. Fellow teammate Kristaps Porzingis was shown to have liked the Instagram post himself and reportedly skipped his exit meetings with the team because of his unhappiness with the “dysfunction” and “drama” that has surrounded the Knicks.
This season has been nothing but a catastrophe for the Knicks and you could say the same about Phil Jackson’s tenure with the team. Since the zen master took over president duties in 2014, the team has gone 80-166 and fallen short of the playoffs each of his three years.
Time for a Change?
Anthony has been involved with trade rumors all year long and came close to being shipped out of New York but no deal was ever made. The forward has a no-trade clause in his contract but is expected to waive it for a trade that he favored. Destinations such as Cleveland and Los Angeles were popular for the All-Star forward and could potentially still be in play this off-season.
Melo, turning 32 in May, will make $26 million next year and has an opt-out clause in his contract for 2018.
Phil Jackson and Anthony met on Thursday for a standard exit meeting with the team.
“I just said that you haven’t won here,” Jackson remarked to the media on Friday. “You don’t want to end up your whole career not winning.”
Anthony, who was traded to Knicks from Denver in 2011, has always been highly criticized for his lack of winning and value towards money. Although he never reached the NBA Finals in Denver, the move to New York at the time seemed like a opportunity to get the ring he’s always wanted.
Or so we thought.
New York hasn’t realistically competed for the title since Amar’e Stoudemire‘s knees actually worked. That was 2011, the first year Anthony was with the Knicks.
Yet, you can’t blame Melo for the lack of success in the Big Apple.
Sources told ESPN that Anthony was “leaning strongly” toward waiving his no-trade clause if the Knicks found a trade with his liking.
Rose battled injuries all year and will be un-restricted free agent this off-season. Noah signed a 4-year/$72 million contract but like Rose, faced injury after injury. Noah was suspended 20 games for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy at the end of March. Jennings was released in February and with the trouble surrounding Noah, Courtney Lee may be the only one remaining player from last years additions.
Few of Phil Jackson’s moves seem to make sense including the public outing of Carmelo Anthony, the team’s beloved superstar.
Phil’s frustration with Anthony stems from the report that Anthony refuses to run the triangle offense. Anthony told the NY Post “its hard to readjust a whole system on the fly.”
With Carmelo being a more spot up shooter, the pace-and-space offense that Knicks coach John Hornacek used during the beginning part of the season was a perfect fit for Anthony. Phil disagreed, pushing Hornacek to use the triangle offense more and more causing an even bigger rift between the Knicks president and Anthony.
As the year progressed, Hornacek began playing more of his younger guys versus the veterans on the roster. Whether this was a move directed by Jackson or if it came from Hornacek himself, it seems like next years Knicks are trying to move away from Anthony and the older ones on the roster.
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that Knicks players are upset with the forced triangle offense and have started an open rebellion against it. The Knicks were expected to go through extensive training on the triangle offense this summer, but with the team’s unhappiness its looking like a long shot.
Jackson also was reportedly “tough to get ahold” right before the trade deadline of this year. The lack of availability for the team’s president call’s into question his focus and relationship with the team.
This upcoming season will be under heavy scrutiny for Jackson, as not only fans and media will be watching but the whole NBA.
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks, during the New York Knicks vs Milwaukee Bucks, NBA Basketball game at Madison Square Garden