Phil Jackson: Why Carmelo Anthony should be thankful for him
When the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association accuses a team president of “shaming” a player, people listen.
This week, Michele Roberts made that accusation against Phil Jackson of the New York Knicks regarding his treatment of Carmelo Anthony. Whether Jackson should have made the comments and the content of the comments are two separate things.
Was he wrong?
Should Phil have made the infamous comments about Carmelo at his year-end press conference? No. But did Phil Jackson say anything wrong or inaccurate? Also no.
The fact is that if Carmelo wants to play for a winning team, he has to leave New York. Phil wasn’t trying to use shame as a motivator; he was telling the truth. Furthermore, he is doing Carmelo and the Knicks a favor if he can make a trade.
“I think Phil was deliberately trying to shame ‘Melo out of the city,” Roberts told Harvey Araton of The Vertical.
Why Carmelo Should Be Thankful
At this point, Carmelo Anthony may be one of the most underachieving stars in NBA history. He was a champion in college and a champion in the Olympics but has accomplished little in the NBA.
Yet, the New York Knicks and Phil Jackson have made him a very rich man. Despite this fiscal commitment, the only person benefitting from the commitment is Carmelo Anthony. In other words, there are reasons Anthony should be thankful for Phil Jackson.
When Jackson was hired by the Knicks, re-signing Carmelo Anthony was a team priority. Given the style Melo plays and the history of Phil Jackson, very few people expected the relationship to work.
Yet, Carmelo was an important asset and Phil offered him a no-trade clause. In other words, Carmelo can thank Phil for the powerful position he finds himself in now.
One of the main reasons Carmelo wanted to be in NYC was to further his brand in the biggest market in the world. That market was made even hotter when the Knicks hired one of the greatest coaches in NBA history to run their team.
Even in the midst of years of losing, New York City was a thriving basketball market. No one benefited more from that market than Carmelo Anthony.
In his misconstrued comments, Phil Jackson alluded to trading Carmelo to a winning team.
“We have not been able to win with him on the court at this time, and I think the direction with our team is that he is a player that would be better off somewhere else, and using his talent somewhere he can win or chase that championship,” Jackson said, per Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press (via NBA.com).
Phil knows that at this point in his career, Carmelo is a complementary player and not the star on his next team. The sooner Melo can come to terms with that fact, the sooner this nightmare ends.
A trade to a contender with assets and draft picks is the best-case scenario for the Knicks. Phil gave Carmelo this opportunity and power. It’s time for Carmelo to be thankful for this fact and get himself out of New York.
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