Phil Jackson: Carmelo ‘Better Off Somewhere Else’

Knicks president Phil Jackson offered his strongest indication yet of an upcoming separation with Carmelo Anthony, tweets Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders. “We’ve not been able to win with him on the court,” Jackson said at a press conference this afternoon. “… I think the direction with our team, he’ll be better off somewhere else.”

Jackson has met with Anthony to talk about the best way for them to move on, and how both sides could benefit from a trade (Twitter link). Jackson described their meeting as “cordial” and complimented Anthony for “holding it together” during a difficult season, tweets Marc Berman of The New York Post.

Mutual dissatisfaction between Jackson and Anthony has been obvious for some time, and the Knicks reportedly contacted the Clippers, Cavaliers and Celtics before the February deadline in an attempt to find a taker. At that time, Anthony gave the Knicks a list of teams that he would agree to join (Twitter link).

Anthony received a no-trade clause as part of his latest contract and would have to give his consent for any deal to take place. Responding to a question today from a reporter, Jackson indicated that Anthony might be happier playing for a title contender, tweets Ian Begley of

Some other highlights from today’s press conference:

  • Jackson believes the Knicks never developed the chemistry they needed to win close games (Twitter link) and accepts responsibility for a disappointing season (Twitter link). “I never took a jump shot, never made a substitution, but the buck stops here,” he said.
  • Jackson said he had a good exit meeting with Derrick Rose and likes the free agent point guard’s attitude about “redeeming himself” in New York (Twitter link). Rose, who was acquired from the Bulls in a trade last summer, told Jackson he wants to stay in New York (Twitter link).
  • Jackson complimented first-year coach Jeff Hornacek and said he is comfortable with him keeping the job (Twitter link). Jackson acknowledged some “disconnect” between players and coaches.
  • Jackson doesn’t believe the deterioration of his relationship with Anthony will prevent other free agents from considering the Knicks (Twitter link).
  • He says the triangle offense hasn’t worked in New York because it has “faced resistance” from players (Twitter link).
  • Jackson says 21-year-old Kristaps Porzingis is too young to be made the face of the franchise (Twitter link).
  • He declined to comment on the February incident that saw former Knick Charles Oakley arrested and removed from Madison Square Garden after a confrontation with team owner James Dolan. Jackson said he tries not to think about it.
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