It’s an interesting situation Carmelo Anthony finds himself in: Having to comment on the media feud between LeBron James and Phil Jackson, who is also the guy running the New York Knicks, where Anthony plays.
So what did Anthony have to say about Jackson referring to James’ friends or business partners or people who surround him as posse, something James suggests has racist undertones? Seems like he was leaning in favor of his banana boat friend than the person who signed him on a generous extension that perhaps the Knicks would have been better without.
I don’t think Phil meant any harm with his word choice. Do I think he meant it in any kind of way? I really don’t know. I don’t think he did. I would hope he didn’t. Sometimes Phil just says things, the first thing that comes to mind. He’s probably in his office now regretting it. When it comes to, Phil, you never know what’s going to be said.
One thing Anthony couldn’t understand is why Jackson is even talking about James: I don’t think we play them anytime soon. It’s a whole month away. I just don’t understand Phil talking about LeBron right now. In November. I don’t understand that.
One idea is that the interview with Phil Jackson was an opportunity for the 11-time NBA champion as a coach to take shots at other people in his position around the league, maybe trying to mask his own failures so far at the job. The Knicks haven’t made the playoffs since Jackson took over, and their big offseason that included signing Joakim Noah and trading for Derrick Rose hasn’t been working too well, with the Knicks off to a disappointing to a 4-6 start.
Noah signed a four-year, $72 million deal, but he’s been having difficulty being as useful as they hoped. Noah is averaging just 4.3 points per game. The Knicks didn’t sign him for his scoring – more for his leadership, defense and vision, but the Knicks are playing him for just 23.7 minutes a night due to his injury past and the problems he creates for his own team on offense. The Knicks are winning by 3.3 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor, but their bad bench should have dictated Noah spends more than just half a game each time on the court.
Whether Anthony likes and agrees with Jackson doesn’t matter. All that matters this season is showing progress. At some point, Anthony might decide he’s had enough of underachieving. We saw it in the summer, when he declared how important his three Olympic gold medals are, especially because he’s never come close to winning an NBA championship. Whether or not the Knicks are happy with how this season ends will probably determine if Jackson will continue what he started, or end up being fired for taking too long to make a contender out of the Knicks.