Knicks President Phil Jackson needs to keep quiet. In recent weeks, he referred to LeBron James’ business associates as his ‘posse’ or continuing to criticize the game of Carmelo Anthony in public for our consumption. He needs to keep quiet because when you are a team, that not only defines the players that put on the uniform over the course of 82 games, but it should also define the organization. Each and every person that works for the Knicks should keep things in house, whether it be positive or negative. That would make sense, no? It should be about coming together, not tearing each other apart. That is what helps you win, when talent comes together and plays as one.
Last week, in an interview on CBS Sports Network’s "We Need to Talk," Jackson discussed how Anthony fit into the triangle offense.
“He can play that role that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant played," Jackson said. "That's a perfect spot for him, to be in that isolated position on the weak side. Because it's an overload offense and there's a weak-side man that always has an advantage if the ball is swung. 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 the ball for three, four, five seconds, then everybody comes to a stop. That is one of the things we work with. But he has adjusted to it, he knows what it can do and he's willing to see its success."
So when you read the entire quote, it does not play all that bad. However, the problem is, this should not be for public consumption. We know the classic criticism of Anthony is that he is ball stopper. Jackson has said it publicly before and continues to echo those sentiments. The problem with Jackson is he needs to stop. He is taking away from his team instead of adding to it.
So when Carmelo Anthony takes to Instagram to defend himself and posts a picture of himself with the caption, “EGO is the only requirement to destroy any relationship. So, be a BIGGER person, skip the “E” and let it “GO.””
Anthony posted another Instagram photo of the Muhammad Ali arrow picture with the caption, “UN-Phased (MyLifeSummedUpInOnePhoto)
Anthony later confirmed this was in reaction to Jackson’s comments to CBS Sports Network. Anthony is in the right and Jackson is in the wrong. Enough! You can either get on the train or get off. It is that simple. You are not the coach of the team, you are the President of the Knicks. Last I checked, Jeff Hornacek was the coach of the Knicks. If he is not happy with the play of one of his players, it is not all that uncommon for coaches to send messages to their star players through the media. When executives start to do it, that is where you start to run into some problems. Jackson can say what he wants but he also knows it brings repercussions. He undermines the player in Anthony and his coach in Hornacek. Jackson and Anthony reportedly had a brief meeting Saturday in Los Angeles as the Knicks got set to take on the Lakers on Sunday. I am not sure if it was some come together moment for the two. But what needs to stop is both sides airing their grievances in public. Plus, if Jackson did not like the game of Anthony he should never have brought him back when he was a free agent.
Phil Jackson won as a player and won as a coach. He has not won a championship as an executive. Anthony is correct to be bothered and upset. In what other sport do you see an executive being critical of one of his/her players in public? Jackson needs to start to check his ego at the door. It can’t be just his way and he certainly can’t be adding to the distractions moving forward. He should want to make it easier for his team to play the game. Easier for them to try and win and allow them to focus on the task as hand. He should not make it harder. Last week, Jackson added to the drama when it was unnecessary to do so. I do not know what the point of all of this was from Jackson and why he feels compelled to continue to poke Anthony. It needs to stop moving forward. After all it should be all about winning basketball, shouldn’t it? Isn’t that why Jackson came here in the first place? To win