New York Knicks: Phil Jackson’s Trade Deadline Distraction

Phil Jackson has pulled plenty of tricks in his many years in the NBA and it appears he may be out of ideas as president of the New York Knicks.

The New York Knicks‘ season to this point has not lived up to the lofty expectations of a sure playoff spot in a top heavy Eastern Conference.

The combination of losing close games and the public shopping of the team’s biggest star, Carmelo Anthony, over the past two months has team president Phil Jackson looking like things are way over his head.

Monday night’s complete debacle of a loss to a Los Angeles Lakers team that came into Madison Square Garden losers of their last nine games on the road could classify as the team’s official low point.

The sluggish and uninspired Knicks were defeated by the struggling Lakers team 121-107 and it wasn’t even that close.

Anthony’s 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the floor just wasn’t enough as the team failed to play any defense on the Lakers, surrendering a staggering 64 points in the paint.

Brandon Jennings spoke to the media after the game answering a question as to whether the team was distracted by all the Anthony trade talk rumors. His response:

“It doesn’t matter, That was embarrassing. To get embarrassed like that in front of the home crowd, I don’t know what else we want. We get support. We get fans. We just got to play with effort. We just got to play like it means something. I just feel like we just don’t have no sense of urgency.”

Anthony echoed Jennings response, focusing on the team’s lack of effort more than any rumors.

Jackson has been very inconsistent in his approach regarding Carmelo Anthony and has leaked too much information to the public leading to this circus.

Jackson’s controversial comments to CBS Sports Network’sWe Need To Talk about his star player in early December sparked immediate controversy among fans and those involved in the organization.

“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. So he has a little bit of a tendency to hold it for three, four, five seconds, and then everybody comes to a stop, That is one of the things we work with. But he’s adjusted to [the triangle], he knows what he can do and he’s willing to see its success.”

The Knicks were 12-9 at the time, with plenty of optimism in the young season and the comments–as helpful as they were probably intended–were not needed for the public to shame his star.

As the Knicks began to hit a cold streak, losing 11 of 13 last month, the trade rumors about Anthony began leading to the nine time All-Star to tell ESPN his feelings on the talks and staying in New York.

“I think I’ve proven that, I don’t have to speak on that. I think I’ve proven that over the years, day in and day out. Regardless of what’s going on that’s surrounding this team, any talk, anything I’ve still showed that me being here, coming to work, being professional, got to answer your guys’ questions every day, got to deal with you all, I still remain positive about that. I don’t think I have to prove that to anybody.”

The trade for Kevin Love appears all but dead and has really turned into a mess for the former NBA Coach of the Year. The talks to move Anthony have become comical and less attractive for teams around the league, especially the Knicks teammates.

Derrick Rose recently spoke to reporters about Carmelo saying:

“All I can do is be there for him and just talk to him whenever I can and just keep him level-headed. It seems like he’s cool. He’s taking it pretty good, handling it pretty good. He’s a vet. It’s just a distraction.”

It’s fitting that the team Jackson led to dominance years ago in Los Angeles came into the garden and humbled his new team. The Lakers may not be contenders yet this season, but their future is much brighter than Jackson’s Knicks.

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