Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson have existed uneasily for quite some time now, with the fading star and the ex-coach fighting for power in New York City. The Knicks have been the subject of constant speculation as they've butted heads, and all signs have pointed to Anthony being moved this summer.
But Jackson went and tore the band-aid off today. Speaking to reporters for his end-of-season availability, Jackson came right out and said Anthony would be better off in a different situation:
He went even further when pressed by reporters, and suggested the team's inability to pick up the triangle offense was due in part to his star player's resistance:
Jackson and his obsession with the triangle haven't exactly gone over well in New York, and trying to pin everything on Anthony did not go over well with the public. Twitter wasted no time before mocking the triangle and going for Jackson's jugular:
Anthony doesn't appear to be too pleased with what Phil said, and he took to Instagram shortly after Jackson's comments to weigh in:
As a featured member of the team and a highly-paid vet, there's no doubt Anthony shares some blame in the Knicks' sub-par play in recent years. But assigning all or most of the blame to a guy who has routinely expressed an affinity for living and playing in your city won't win you many supporters. If you are indeed trying to move on from the player, openly expressing your disdain for him also isn't going to make it any easier to move him on the trade market; letting teams know he's not a fit for your franchise is basically writing "LOWBALL US WITH OFFERS" in giant red letters.
If anything, Jackson needs to take more responsibility for the failings of the roster. Joakim Noah, who he signed to a massive deal last offseason, was hurt all year and later suspended for violating the league's anti-drug program. Derrick Rose closed the season with a torn meniscus, and longtime Knicks fans have been driven to the point of swapping their fan allegiance out of frustration. Jackson is the same guy who gave Anthony his last contract extension to begin with!
Until one or both men move on, this is going to hang over the Knicks like a black cloud. If they have any sense, the Knicks will try to expedite the process in the offseason and put an end to this saga, and officially start the Kristaps Porzingis era.