Carmelo Anthony addresses Phil Jackson rift rumors, describes black cloud over Knicks


Just when you thought the Knicks were out, they pull you back in.

At the time of Phil Jackson's comments about Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks were on a four-game winning streak before being blown out at home, on national TV, by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“Carmelo a lot of times wants to hold the ball longer than — we have a rule: If you hold a pass two seconds, you benefit the defense,” Jackson said. … “So he has a little bit of a tendency to hold it for three, four, five seconds, and then everybody comes to a stop.”

Now, the organization's short stint of success that saw the franchise's record go three games over .500 for the first time since the 2012-2013 season seems like ages ago. When asked about Jackson's comments following the game vs. Cleveland, Anthony responded: “Whatever Phil said, he said. I have nothing to say.”

The following day, Carmelo tweeted two pictures with captions that appeared to be a subtle shot at Jackson:

Fast-forward to Friday afternoon, where the Knicks are preparing for their game in Sacramento against the Kings, and Carmelo cleared the air to The New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy regarding his comments and the tweets, while holding nothing back:

If there was any doubt, Carmelo Anthony cleared the air Friday and acknowledged that his Instagram posts a day earlier about checking egos and equating the abuse he receives to that of Muhamad Ali, were indeed about Phil Jackson and the team president's recent criticisms of Anthony's ball hogging.

And more than anything, the Knicks star is confused about his boss’ timing.

“At the end of the day we're playing good basketball,” Anthony said. “That's the only thing that matters at this point. So any negativity that's coming towards me or towards the team, I don't think we need it at this point.”

Furthermore, Carmelo described the situation as a 'black cloud' over the team:

“I didn't talk to him so I don't know where he was coming from with those comments … If he wants to talk about it, cool. If he don't, cool. In my eyes it's over. I feel like we're playing good basketball, and just to have a temporary black cloud over our heads … I don't know when the comments were made or the gist of them, I just know something was said.”

Has the dust settled between the two? Carmelo suggests yes, but, more of a ceasefire than a resolution:

“My conversations with management is limited at this point … I've decided to focus on what I focus on and let them focus on what they focus.” 

Just another day in the life of the ever-dysfunctional New York Knicks, folks.