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Reaction To Phil Jackson’s Deal With Knicks

Phil Jackson and the Knicks have reportedly reached an agreement in principle to have the Zen Master join the team’s front office, though the terms of the deal are apparently still in flux. The news has elicited response from Carmelo Anthony and others, as we detail here:

  • In an updated version of his story, Berman shares Anthony’s remarks about whether he had any input on the decision to bring in Jackson. “I don’t want to jump the gun as far as being consulted,” Anthony said. “They have to do what they have to do in the front office and make the moves. They brought it to me a couple of days ago. It wasn’t something [where] it was do or die based on my decision. Them guys were going to make the decision regardless of what I said. I kind of let the guys handle the situation, and I focus on basketball and hope and pray we all do the right thing to try to build a team here.’’

Earlier updates:

  • Anthony doesn’t believe his free agency this summer hinges on Jackson’s hiring, as the star forward told reporters today, including Peter Botte of the New York Daily News“I don’t think it’ll have any effect on me, just as far as what I’m thinking or my decision or anything like that,” Anthony said. “Like I said, I haven’t talked to Phil yet, just to get his insight on a lot of things, what’s his plan, what’s his future plan, because everything’s in his hands now.”
  • Still, Anthony admitted he’s never spoken to Jackson before, as Marc Berman of the New York Post notes. Anthony said Saturday that the Knicks hadn’t told him about their pursuit of Jackson, but the Leon Rose client said today that the team informed him two days ago. “You can’t take for granted what he knows about basketball, whether he’s on the sideline or in the front office,” Anthony said. “I’m pretty sure he’ll try his best to do what he has to do to build a championship here.’’
  • Jeanie Buss, Jackson’s fiancee and co-owner of the Lakers, told Nancy Dillon of the New York Daily News that she had no intention of keeping Jackson from taking the Knicks job, saying, “It’s his decision to make, of course.”
  • Ken Berger of can’t envision Jackson making the kind of full-time commitment to the Knicks necessary to change the franchise’s sagging fortunes.

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