New York Knicks president Phil Jackson continues to play hard ball with Carmelo Anthony.
Jackson reiterated his desire for the Knicks’ star free agent to take less money if he wants to return to the Big Apple.
"He’s the one that opened that up that it wasn’t about the money," Jackson told the New York Daily News before Thursday night’s NBA Draft. "So I challenged him on that because I want our fans to see he’s a team player, that he’s going to do what was best for this team to get ahead farther and faster.
"It’s not going to be an issue. I think there are going to be things that are going to be happening in the near future in the NBA that is going to grow this league monetarily that it’s going to end up being a non-issue for us to do that."
Anthony has been heavily coveted by a number of teams, according to multiple reports. Anthony reportedly has decided to meet with the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks once teams are allowed to talk to free agents July 1.
Jackson has said that he hopes Anthony will remain "true to his word" about possibly taking less money to stay in New York. Jackson cited San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan as an example of a star who took less money in order to give the Spurs financial flexibility, which has extended their championship aspirations.
Earlier in the week, the Knicks traded center Tyson Chandler and point guard Raymond Felton to the Mavericks for point guards Jose Calderon and Shane Larkin, center Samuel Dalembert, forward Wayne Ellington and two second-round picks.