GREENBURGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Noting that the Knicks have not been able to win with Carmelo Anthony, team president Phil Jackson made it clear Friday that the 10-time All-Star no longer fits into the organization’s plans.
The Knicks president said that in his exit interview this week with Anthony, “we talked about how we’re going to go about doing what we have to do.”
“We have not been able to win with him on the court at this time, and I think the direction with our team is that he is a player that will be better off somewhere else and using his talents somewhere where he can win or chase that championship,” Jackson said. “Right now, we need players that are really active, can play every single play, defensively and offensively. It’s really important for us.”
Jackson characterized his meeting with Anthony as “cordial.”
Shortly after the news conference ended, Anthony posted this photo to Instagram:
Anthony, 32, has no-trade clause that he must waive if the Knicks are to deal him. Jackson said the team will “take into account his consideration” in searching for a trade partner.
While Jackson’s remarks are the most candid to date regarding Anthony, they are not surprising. The Knicks tried to trade the forward this past season, with the most serious talks reportedly involving the Cavaliers, Clippers and Celtics. Jackson said Friday the Knicks did not receive any rational offers before the trade deadline.
In 74 games this past season, Anthony, who has two years, $54 million remaining on his contract, as well as a $4 million trade kicker, averaged 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists.
The Knicks finished 31-51 this season, their third straight 50-loss campaign.
Other player news:
• Jackson said Derrick Rose, whose first season with the Knicks ended with him needing surgery to repair torn knee cartilage, told him he wants to return as a free agent “to have a chance to redeem himself as a player.”
• He hopes Joakim Noah can return to form, after the center had knee surgery and may be headed for shoulder surgery this summer. He signed a four-year, $72 million in July.
“He expressed his great dedication toward getting back to what he was, or who he is as a basketball player, so I have to trust him on that,” Jackson said.
As for Jackson, he painted a picture that’s rosier than reality, saying the Knicks are building a foundation and that fans see progress. As always, he stood firmly behind his belief in the triangle offense, which the Knicks began featuring even more after the All-Star break at Jackson’s insistence after he allowed coach Jeff Hornacek to blend it with his own offensive schemes earlier.
The 11-time champion as a coach, most in NBA history, acknowledged that losing as a first-time executive has been difficult.
“I never took a jump shot, never made a substitution, but the buck stops here,” Jackson said.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)