News emerged yesterday that the New York Knicks will be looking to move on from Carmelo Anthony this offseason, as their president of basketball operations Phil Jackson said he would be "better off somewhere else". NY went 31-51, falling well short of preseason expectations bolstered by the team's offseason additions of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.
"We've not been able to win with [Anthony] on the court at this time".
Phil said meeting with Melo was not contentious, but he told him with direction of team he'd be better off chasing championship elsewhere. It was not something the team wanted to announce during the season, in the midst of another nightmare and with Jackson's approval rating being as low as a NYC gutter. But after missing the playoffs four seasons in a row, he's made his frustrations with the progress (or lack thereof) of Jackson's rebuild very clear.
Now let's compare that with his thoughts on Melo, who has also been on some successful teams (including a successful Knicks team!), has never shied away from the challenge of turning this team around or expressed a desire to play anywhere else despite years of losses.
It was reported Thursday that Knicks owner James Dolan picked up the option on the remaining two years of the 71-year-old Jackson's contract.
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The one player he kept in NY was Anthony, signing him to a five-year, $124.9 million deal with a full no-trade clause and a 15 percent trade kicker. Carmelo has said numerous times that he loves the city and the team and wants nothing more than to stay a Knick. "You just communicate with me", Anthony said after playing in what might have been his final game after 6 1/2 seasons in NY. "You don't want to end your career not winning, this is not something you want to have labeled on your career", Jackson said.
"This is not something that you want to have labelled on your career".
One thing I do know, is you don't want your two star players unhappy. But he likes it here. Considering the Knicks gutted their roster (and future assets) to acquire Anthony seven years ago, it doesn't seem too likely they'll get much of a return on their investment.
Anthony has been rumored in trade talk several times throughout the last few seasons. Anthony quickly responded on Instagram with a post that was surely directed to Phil Jackson's comments.