NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Here’s something that may not sit well with Knicks fans.
New York forward Carmelo Anthony, who plans to test free agency this summer, inquired about Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau in a recent conversation with a former Bulls player, according to the New York Daily News.
“What is it like to play for Thibs?” Anthony asked the player, the Daily News reported.
The paper cautioned that Anthony could have just been curious about a coach he’ll be involved with as a member of USA Basketball. Then again, maybe he was doing a little homework before opting out of his contract. Bulls center Joakim Noah reportedly tried to recruit Anthony over All-Star weekend.
On Friday, Anthony sang the praises of Thibodeau when asked how playoff-bound Chicago could weather injuries while New York had no such luck.
“I have no clue,” Anthony said, according to the Daily News. “Thibs is a great coach, his system kind of reminds me of (Spurs coach) Gregg Popovich’s system.”
“You put anybody in that system and it’s going to work,” he added. “That’s what they’ve been doing. They’ve had guys sitting out all season long, guys that’s been in and out of the lineups and they seem to get it done.”
New Knicks president Phil Jackson has said he’d like Anthony to be a part of the team’s future. But that’s really up to Melo, who will have to decide whether he’s willing to stick around for Jackson’s grand plan to unfold.
The Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers could also be in the mix for the seven-time All-Star.
By opting out of his final season — worth $23.3 million — Anthony will be able to sign a five-year contract with the Knicks for $129.1 million, according the number-crunchers at ESPN. If he goes elsewhere he’d get a maximum of $95.9 million over four years.
The Knicks beat the Bulls 100-89 on Sunday, one day after being officially eliminated from postseason contention. It’s the first time in Anthony’s 11-year career he will not be in the playoffs.
It’s possible that Anthony has played his final game with New York. The 29-year-old could sit out the final two games due to a shoulder injury.
“It’s just hard for me to even think past tonight, right now, at this moment,” Anthony said Sunday. “Everything is just, for me, just cloudy. I’ve never been in this situation before. I don’t even know what to say about this situation.”
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