Carmelo Anthony says he wants open communication with the Knicks when it comes to hiring a coach and bringing in players, something Phil Jackson didn’t exactly echo.
It’s getting harder for Carmelo Anthony to keep his faith. The questions aren’t being answered. The concerns aren’t alleviated.
As the Knicks star conducted a long press conference tinged with doubt, Anthony spent most of the time waffling between staying, going and asking questions through the media.
“I think about (leaving New York to win),” Anthony said before catching himself. “The only thing I think about is winning more. Whether it’s here or somewhere else, that’s the only thing I think about. I haven’t thought about putting myself on another team. I haven’t thought about me on another team. I haven’t thought about any of that. My thought process is, ‘How can I make this situation better?’ What can we do to make this situation better? That’s the only thing I’m thinking about.”
Anthony said he voiced his opinion Jackson during his exit interview Thursday – leaving “no stones unturned” – but it remains to be seen if it will fall on deaf and stubborn ears. And would Anthony follow up on his veiled threats and leave the Knicks if they ignore his input?
There were already notable contradictions between the messages from Anthony and Jackson, starting with the coaching search.
Anthony said he wants an extensive process open “to whoever would come in here and make this a better situation.” Less than an hour later, Jackson said he’s married to the triangle and only wants a coach he knows personally.
“I think you should have multiple considerations,” Anthony said.
For the first time Thursday, Anthony invoked the closing window of his career. He’s clearly sick of the slow rebuild at 31 years old and armed with a no-trade clause.
“How do we take advantage of kind of this window that I have? I think that’s the main question,” Anthony said. “How can we take advantage of this window? How can we take advantage of this situation that we have that’s in front of us?”
Anthony has expressed his desire to acquire stars in free agency to help shoulder the load, mentioning specifically Kevin Durant and Rajon Rondo. But on that subject, it seemed he and Jackson were again on two different wave lengths.
When the team president was reminded that the Knicks were 0-10 this season without Anthony and appeared like it needed another star, his answer was essentially that the team was better without Anthony.
“Some of our best games we played were when Carmelo didn’t play and we didn’t win but we had great games,” Jackson said. “Oklahoma, I could maybe name four games that we probably should have won and short of the thing that Carmelo can help you, we didn’t have but we played better as a basketball club and in some strange ways…”
The team president trailed off because he caught a glimpse of himself in a commercial on an overhead television. The next question to Jackson was whether he still plans to build around Anthony.
The answer was essentially he has no choice.
“You know, the thing about Carmelo is we came here and had a discussion, it is all about communication and the fact that he wants to stay here,” Jackson said. “Those are two things that are real important to him.”
It’s an organization operating on separate pages, separate playbooks.
“People look at that and say, ‘Okay, we’ve made progress.’ For me I kind of see it differently. Yes, we’ve made progress. We still haven’t made progress enough to get to the postseason, to get to the playoffs,” Anthony said. “For my first 10 years in this league I played in the postseason, I played playoff basketball. So to not experience that over the past three seasons it makes you question a lot. It makes you think a lot. It definitely put a lot of things into perspective. My only thing, my only motive, is to win. I want to win.”