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Carmelo Anthony on Knicks hiring of Phil Jackson: ‘That was a power move right there’

Mar 15, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT

New York Knicks' Anthony reacts after scoring against Miami Heat during their NBA basketball game in Miami Reuters

The Knicks followed up Friday’s Phil Jackson news with the team’s sixth straight victory on Saturday, a 115-94 drubbing of the league-worst Bucks.

As New York tries desperately to close the season strongly enough to grab a playoff spot in the dismal Eastern Conference, the thoughts of many of the team’s closest observers are already on the future, and what decisions Jackson will make to improve the Knicks chances in the seasons to come.

Carmelo Anthony has the option of watching it all play out somewhere else if he chooses to leave in free agency, but he seemed initially excited about the hiring of Jackson.

From Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press:

“I’m a chess player, so that was a power move right there,” Carmelo Anthony said. “So now we’re going to see what’s the next move. But that was a great power move.” …

“Phil knows what to do and how to build teams and how to win, that’s the most important thing,” Anthony said. “When you know how to win, whether you’re a coach or whether you’re in the front office, that stands out.”

While Anthony seems optimistic, the sentiment wasn’t exactly the same with the team’s head coach, Mike Woodson.

From Andrew Keh of the New York Times:

Woodson said he did not feel he had anything to prove to Jackson over these final games. He took responsibility for the Knicks’ ups and downs, but made sure to note that the team was still contending for a playoff spot. Change, he implied, is inevitable. His fate is out of his hands.

“It’s basketball, teams try to reshape, they go through changes,” Woodson said. “This is no different. You bring in a great basketball mind into your organization and, eventually, it will be reshaped.”

He added, “How and who and when? Only time will tell.”

Woodson is almost certainly done in New York after this season, and besides the lack of a viable candidate that could coach the team in the interim if he had been fired along the way, it’s believed he’s been retained in order to have a needed change at the ready to appease Anthony in the offseason when the time comes.

It appears, though, that by bringing in Jackson, the Knicks have already begun that process.

  1. thevikesarebest - Mar 15, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    The Knicks are laughable.

    • asimonetti88 - Mar 16, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      They’re no Vikings, that’s for sure.

  2. thomaskouns - Mar 15, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    Carmelo has been pretty cagey throughout his career in putting blame on others and absolving himself.

    He has to say the right answers now cause Phil will call him on it….

  3. elcapitanfiscal - Mar 15, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    The Zen Master will clean house, starting with Melo.

  4. program33 - Mar 15, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    Finding the right coach is going to be critical to their success. 2014 Knicks will be interesting. I believe that Carmelo and Lebron can co-exist. Add 1 decent point guard. 2 great perimeter shooters, 2 or 3 great rebounders. A strong focus on defense and the Knicks will be a beast. The next 2 NBA drafts are going to be packed with talent.

    The Lakers are going be really sorry that they were not able to close the deal on Phil.(Just my opinion.)

    • casualcommenter - Mar 15, 2014 at 8:16 PM

      “2014 Knicks will be interesting. I believe that Carmelo and Lebron can co-exist.”
      The Knicks can’t sign LeBron if they re-sign Carmelo, and vice versa, due to their lack of cap room, unless one of those two guys is willing to play for the mini-mid-level exception of $5 million per year. The CBA prevents the capped-out Knicks from offering two max contracts, even if Dolan were willing to pay that much luxury tax.

      “Add 1 decent point guard. 2 great perimeter shooters, 2 or 3 great rebounders.”
      That will be hard without any cap room, assuming the Knicks somehow sign Carmelo and LeBron in the same offseason, or any draft picks. Speaking of which.

      “The next 2 NBA drafts are going to be packed with talent.”
      The Knicks have zero draft picks in the next draft, so the 2014 draft having talent isn’t relevant to the Knicks. At all.

    • eventhorizon04 - Mar 15, 2014 at 8:21 PM

      The Knicks have no salary cap room if they keep Carmelo. They also traded away all of their 2014 draft picks.

      But you’re right. The Knicks just need to add LeBron, a point guard, 2 shooters, and 3 elite rebounders with no cap room and no draft picks, and they’ll be awesome in 2014. The Zen Master can do it cuz he has 13 rings!

    • daddyghi - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:14 AM

      strong point guard? the heat doesnt have one but they’ve been in the finals for the last 3 years..

  5. coffeeblack95616 - Mar 15, 2014 at 8:46 PM

    I’m just impressed that Melo plays chess.

  6. nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Mar 16, 2014 at 2:03 AM

    Reading this and seeing the interview does not do it justice. He had a huge smile on his face. He is not going anywhere.

    • eugenesaxe1 - Mar 16, 2014 at 2:29 AM

      Neither are the Knicks for the next few years, even if Jackson proves to be competent.

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