NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Get ready for some fireworks at Madison Square Garden.
On Tuesday, Knicks president Phil Jackson seemed to take a veiled shot on Twitter at Carmelo Anthony, the superstar forward he’s been trying to trade for weeks.
“Bleacher’s Ding almost rings the bell, but I learned you don’t change the spot on a leopard with Michael Graham in my CBA daze,” Jackson wrote.
The cryptic message appears to largely be endorsing a column published by Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding on Tuesday. In it, Ding writes that Jackson overestimated his own ability to convert Anthony from “superstar to winning superstar.” The columnist suggests Anthony lacks the drive to win a championship.
“Anthony is who he is, addicted to his individual success no matter the experience or insight put around him to teach him something more,” Ding writes.
Jackson’s tweet also references Graham, a once-promising power forward out of Georgetown whom the “Zen Master” coached on the Continental Basketball Association’s Albany Patroons in the 1980s. Graham lacked the discipline to make it in the NBA, and Jackson reportedly dismissed him from the team after the two got into an argument during a game.
Tuesday tweet is the latest salvo in the suddenly tumultuous relationship between Jackson and Anthony.
Anthony sided with friend LeBron James after Jackson, in an ESPN interview in November, called James’ entourage “a posse.” “I would never want to hear that word about me and my — I don’t want to say crew — but people that I consider family or people that I come up (with), been through thick and thin with,” Anthony said.
In December on the CBS Sports Network’s “We Need to Talk,” Jackson criticized Anthony for holding the ball too long. Anthony responded with a pair of Instagram posts. In the first, he wrote: “EGO is the only requirement to destroy any relationship. So, be a BiGGER person, skip the ‘E’ and let it ‘GO.’” The second post included a photo of Muhammad Ali surrounded by arrows, with Anthony writing, “UN-Phased (MyLifeSummedUpInOnePhoto).”
Jackson has reportedly been trying to trade Anthony before the NBA’s Feb. 23 trade deadline so that he can begin building around second-year big man Kristaps Porzingis. However, any deal would be contingent on Anthony waiving his no-trade clause.
New York has reportedly contacted the Cavaliers, Celtics and Clippers to gauge their interest in the nine-time All-Star.