Wednesday 30th July 2014,
The Hoop Doctors

Phil Jackson Wants Assurance Melo Will Stay With Knicks

dfavale March 11, 2014 Dan Favale 13 Comments

meloPhil Jackson apparently wants the world if he’s to sync up with the ever-dysfunctional New York Knicks.

Rumors have flooded the airwaves, papers and Internet, most of them pointing toward the same thing: a union between the Zen Master and championship-starved, James Dolan-owned Knicks.

But with all that’s going around, you’d have expected it to be a done deal. Except it’s not. To the best of our knowledge, Jackson hasn’t provided any guarantees. It appears the Knicks are operating under the assumption that he’s prepared to join them, but that’s the Knicks. They assume everything of other people.

They assume Rajon Rondo will force his way from the Boston Celtics to New York. They assume their business model isn’t mangled beyond recognition. They assume Carmelo Anthony wants to re-sign and remain in this hellhole they try to pass off as a basketball organization.

Now it seems they’re assuming Jackson is in, and he just might be. But before he is, he wants a few things. Chief among his demands are assumed—there’s that word again—to be money and autonomy, one of which New York is known for shelling out without pause (money), the other of which isn’t in Dolan’s vocabulary (autonomy).

According to The Knicks Blog’s Adam Zagoria, though, he also wants something else: Anthony.

“He wants a management position and the power to make deals, a la Red Auerbach and Pat Riley,” a league source told Zagoria. “If that’s not promised, he ain’t coming. They’ll have to promise him Melo will stay, too. And I don’t think they know if he is or not.”

This makes sense, and it doesn’t make sense.

Jackson called the Knicks “clumsy” and basically insulted Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire back in 2012, so having Anthony’s retention be a deal-breaker is weird.

At the same time, Jackson understands the situation. The Knicks don’t have a first-round draft pick this year or in 2016, nor do they have cap space before 2015. And if Anthony leaves, they still have none of those things.

Regardless of what Jackson thinks of Anthony, he knows you need a star to build around. For all his flaws and foibles, Anthony is a star. A top-10 star. It makes perfect sense he would want the Knicks to guarantee his return. Things also change in the span of two or so years. Maybe Jackson’s perception of Anthony has morphed into respect and adulation.

Still, the Knicks cannot actually guarantee Anthony stays. That doesn’t mean they won’t try, but they effectively can’t. Anthony has made it clear he will wait until this summer to make his decision. The New York Post‘s Marc Berman also says Anthony isn’t thrilled about New York’s courtship of the Zen Master. If he’s unhappy or unsure how Jackson’s presence will impact him directly, he most definitely isn’t going to be handing out assurances.

And so, the drama continues.

Jackson wants the Knicks. We think. Provided they promise Anthony’s return. We think. But Anthony isn’t prepared to make said pledge. We think. Because he may not even want Jackson around. We think.

Feel free to stop thinking now.

Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com.

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  • ShooterMcGavin

    If Anthony doesn’t want to work for Phil Jackson, and be coached by Steve Kerr, that sends a message. Phil and Steve are absolutely two genius-level basketball minds, with experience winning multiple rings together. Anthony’s not interested? New York must be a toxic environment. Either that or Carmello’s ego can’t handle Phil being the biggest star on the team. Too bad, it would have been amazing to watch. Remember, Phil has a giant D’antoni-sized chip on his shoulder. He wants more rings, and when he wants rings he gets them. If Carmello is too foolish to see that, then that says a LOT about his character. I say let him walk, and try again. You can’t fix character flaws like that once a guy’s in his 30s. Not even the Zen Master could fix Anthony’s ego.

    • ShooterMcGavin

      Carmello doesn’t want to run the triangle. That’s what has him scared. You have to pass the ball in a triangle system, and you have to trust in your four teammates. It’s not a system for a one-man-show. I don’t think this guy is capable of change at this point. His ego couldn’t handle it. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise that he’s letting NY know this early on.

      • Hello

        It worked for Kobe and MJ. Those guys still put up more than their fair share of shots. Not saying that Melo should be compared to them, though. Dude should cut his ego and realize that he doesn’t have any bragging rights until he gets rings, and if Phil thinks it’ll work with Melo it probably could.

      • thisistheguy

        One L in Carmelo. If you’re going to bash a guy, learn his name.

        • ShooterMcGavin

          Good one, dumbass. CarmeLLLLLLLLo is still going to retire without a ring.

        • thisistheguy

          You can’t spell the name of a high profile athlete that has been in the league for 10 years and I’m the dumbass? Further, the best 2nd man that Carmelo has ever had in the NBA is J.R. Smith. Would you be confident in your teammates if that was the case? If he goes to the Bulls and has other players to lean on to move the ball and play defense, I think he has a good shot at a ring.

      • The Eff

        You can’t be serious….

        The guy played in Olympics and All-Star, what indicated you that he is a one man show ?

  • mthashp

    How do I make it so that I never click on another Dan Favale post ever again? This kid believes threes and no D are the way to go. You should be required to play basketball competitively at least in order to write about it.

    • Dan

      Yeah, because “doesn’t always win championships” means “NO TEAM SHOULD EVER PLAY DEFENSE. NEVER EVER, EVER.”

  • Ethan Smith

    Personally. i’m getting sick and tired of hearing about the Knicks’ dilemmas and what they are “assuming” to do to fix it all. Also, I despise the Lakers but if I was Phil Jackson, I’d would be trying to go back to the Lakers since they still have Kobe for now, and can work with what they have or can get. Melo would probably be better off with PJ and Kobe on the Lakers than with PJ and no Kobe on the Knicks.

    • Christian McCarthy

      Because Kobe is the X Factor for winning a championship.. It’s 2014 not 2004 homie.

  • George Davalos

    Its funny how everybody is talking like they know what Carmelo Anthony is thinking and wants. You guys are worst than the paparazzi and the media. Carmelo aint no dummy. He knows what Phil Jackson brings to the table. Chill the fuck out Knickerbockers, we are going to be just fine.

    • knicksallday

      Word, I can’t agree with you more. Just chill the fuk out and let this play out. Melo never said the shit ya’ll are talking about. This stupid article is saying nothing and based on assumptions. Are you guys fans or the real negative energy of our season. Time to lift our heads and be proud of what’s to come. Finally!