The New York Knicks are never hurting for internal drama, but the turmoil between Phil Jackson and star forward Carmelo Anthony got kicked up to 11 today.
This afternoon, Jackson offered a pretty sobering assessment of Anthony’s future with the Knicks, stating that the franchise has “not been able to win with him on the court.”
Phil Jackson on Carmelo Anthony today: "We have not able to win with him on the court. He would be a player better off somewhere else."
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 14, 2017
The quote is a clear shot across the bow of Anthony, who still holds the keys to a move due to the no trade clause in the contract. And while most realistic Knicks fans probably agree with the assessment on its face, it rings hollow coming from the man that gave Anthony that big contract back in 2014, when it already looked like the Carmelo/Knicks marriage was past its prime.
There have been plenty of Carmelo trade rumors over the last few seasons, but Anthony is resistant to waving his no-trade clause unless he’s going to be dealt to a contender. We’re not sure if Jackson’s brazen statement will change that—which was likely the intent—but Melo doesn’t seem amused by it. Shortly after Jackson’s statement, Anthony posted this emoji-aided Great Gatsby still to Instagram. We’re not sure what the significance of the photo itself is, aside from Leonardo DiCaprio’s bemused look maybe, but the caption is clearly a reference to Jackson.
Perhaps more interestingly, Carmelo seems to have the backing of the young star that most believe the team should be building around: Kristaps Porzingis.
— Tunnel Team™, LLC (@World_Wide_Wob) April 14, 2017
There’s a very good chance that Carmelo has played his last game as a Knick, but if Jackson is starting to lose the trust of guys like Porzingis as well, the coaching legend might not be around much longer either.
Of course, the Knicks did just pick up Jackson’s two-year contract option, so maybe James Dolan hasn’t noticed just what a tire fire his franchise has become.