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Carmelo Anthony says he, Phil Jackson “on the same page”

Mar 20, 2014, 12:40 PM EST

Golden State Warriors v New York Knicks Getty Images

Phil Jackson is not going to be able to turn the Knicks around overnight. Or in one summer.

Even if you think he will be very good at being a team president, even if he can change the culture and bring a direction to the Knicks organization, it is still going to take a few years to right this ship. Their situation is a mess. They only have one of their next three first round picks and oversized expiring contracts are not the trade chips in this CBA that they were in the last one.

The first big question for Jackson is will Carmelo Anthony be part of that future?

At his introductory press conference Jackson said ‘Melo was a big part of the Knicks future plans, saying he thinks Anthony can reach another level. Of course free agent to be Anthony gets a big say in his future — and he said he and Jackson think alike, reports Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.

“I was hoping that I would be part of the future plans,” Anthony said before the Knicks played the Pacers. “I never once said that I wanted to leave New York or anything like that. The only thing I said was I’m going to dabble and try the free agency out, that I was going to opt out and become a free agent. … I’m excited about the opportunity to hopefully work with Phil….

“I love it,” Anthony said. “I don’t think that was anything bad that he said. As an individual, over the years I think I’ve gotten better as a player and I’m playing at a very high level as an individual right now. So for him to come in and say that, we’re on the same page. I believe that I can take my game to a whole other level that I haven’t even taken it to right now.”

Anthony, as hard as he fought to get to New York and as much as he likes being the face of the Knicks, has always looked for a reason to stay. Plus the Knicks can offer more money than anyone else.

Anthony said All-Star weekend that he was going to opt out of his current contract at the end of the season but that the Knicks would be “my first priority.” He going to give them the chance to sell him on a future and contending in NYC. If he doesn’t like those plans then he will turn his attention toward Chicago and Houston and other free agent destinations.

Jackson is a game changer in this scenario. As bad a season as the Knicks had, there is hope in New York now. You can envision a path to a championship. It sounds more and more like Anthony will want to walk that path and trust the Knicks to make it a reality.

  1. calkinsrob - Mar 20, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    damn! hes gonna stay in NY

    • florida727 - Mar 20, 2014 at 4:19 PM

      Obviously not. Everyone knows that “on the same page” is code for “I’ll be traded to the Bulls in the off-season”.

      • calkinsrob - Mar 20, 2014 at 5:32 PM

        I wish. Id love for melo to come to my bulls. But with phil giving NY a better looking future, and melo’s wife in business in NY, I dont see him coming to Chicago, especially since hed have to take such a big pay cut.

  2. void96eater - Mar 20, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    Phil Jackson being in NY doesn’t guarantee a turnaround, but it is very promising to see Carmelo already being willing to work with him. For once, NY fans have something to be optimistic about.

    • henryd3rd - Mar 20, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      I wouldn’t be too optimistic if I were you. The history of Knicks is strew with qualified who have been in positions of authority and been forced to leave due to Dolan’s meddling, i.e., Donnie Walsh and Pat Riley. Last time I looked Walsh and Riley had had some success with their new teams.

      • void96eater - Mar 20, 2014 at 6:48 PM

        True, but Jackson wouldn’t have agreed to come to NY if he wasn’t in total control of basketball operations. I’m sure he won’t let someone as clueless as Dolan affect his decisions.

  3. knoxxlive - Mar 20, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    I’m not understanding why a president has to do a GMs or coaches job?? That means your basketball team is being ram by the front office when it should be the coach

    • spursareold - Mar 20, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      The coach manages the players and game plan on the court. The GM and President manage everything else.

    • mogogo1 - Mar 20, 2014 at 5:27 PM

      It may be a bit unconventional but that’s the only way I see Jackson really succeeding in his new role. He doesn’t have any experience in the front office and his greatest gifts are dealing with players. It’d be a major mistake to not even try to have him do what he does best.

  4. jennsanz - Mar 20, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    phil should be the coach

  5. stayhigh_247 - Mar 20, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    speaking for Chicago….damn!

  6. progress2011 - Mar 20, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    Watched the game last nite. NY got the win against IND…BUT it was not pretty.

    Melo is obviously one of the most prolific scorers in the league.

    But the offense comes to a screeching halt, when he touches the ball.

    Part of successfully running the triangle offense is, constant ball movement, to find the best shot.

    So, if Melo is going to stay in NY, he will have to change his entire game….IF, he can make the transition, NY will become a formidable opponent….every nite.

    • jimeejohnson - Mar 20, 2014 at 7:06 PM

      But beating a very strong Indiana club shows the potential of even these Knicks to rise to the occasion. No way they get worse with Phil Jackson in charge. Phil brings the ghost of Red Holzman and those championship Knicks teams wherever he goes, but that ghost’s permanent residence is definitely MSG.

      • bkbell3 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:49 AM

        The knicks are my team but even a broken watch is right twice a day. Beating a struggling pacers team in a desperate time for the knicks is just a nice win in a nice stretch of wins against mostly crap teams. They had a nice stretch on that texas run awhile ago and then went into the tank again. Phil is no guarantee that anybody will sign with ny and with the new cba and cap and draft pick issues and melo’s age etc it’s going to take some minor to major miracles to get this team right in the next 3-5 years. Just ask Dallas about being a constant bridesmaid with free agents.Also a new and untested phil in a new role and prob. a new coach and sign and trades being much tougher and now pay no more than just walking to the other team etc.,it’s going to be tough.

  7. mutasian - Mar 21, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    see for how long…

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