President Informs Star Player That He Will Be Available On Sidelines During Camp

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Phil Jackson is playing the transparency game with Carmelo Anthony.

Whatever I know, you will know.

At least that seems to be the case according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which says the Knicks’ new president met with his franchise player this past week to give him an update on the coaching search. At that dinner meeting, Jackson told Anthony of his intentions to hire Steve Kerr, who won several championships as a player and held a position as a general manager, but has never coached professionally.

Jackson, who fired former head coach Mike Woodson last week after the Knicks went 37-45 and missed the playoffs, is being straight forward with Anthony because Anthony is expected to opt out of his contract and become a free agent.

The Knicks can offer Anthony five years and $129.1 million, but many believe they won’t come close to those figures. If the 29-year-old star goes elsewhere he could receive $95.9 million over four years, ESPN reported.

Anthony, who averaged 27.4 points and 8.1 rebounds last season, has intimated he’d take less to stay with the Knicks provided they show a commitment to winning a championship, telling reporters during All-Star weekend: “I told people all the time, always say, ‘If it takes me taking a pay cut, I’ll be the first one on (Knicks owner James) Dolan’s steps saying take my money and let’s build something strong over here.’”

Jackson said last month he hopes the forward “is true to his word” and agrees to take less money to help the Knicks build a winner.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Anthony made it clear that he wants to play for a winning team next season and Jackson did what he could to assure Anthony that Kerr is the right man for the job despite his inexperience. Also, it is presumed that if Anthony takes less to stay the Knicks could add an impact player.

Jackson told Anthony he’d be both visible and available on the sidelines during training camp, the newspaper reported.

Kerr and Jackson have met several times recently, with various reports suggesting the Knicks hope to hire the former shooting guard and five-time NBA champion sometime in early May, after the first round of the NBA playoffs end.

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