Carmelo Anthony informed reporters on Wednesday that from what he’s heard, the speculation that Phil Jackson will be joining the New York Knicks front office is indeed true and that the Zen Master’s presence in the organization can’t hurt.
“I still don’t have a lot of the details, all the details. Have I heard? Yeah, I heard he will be coming on board, not official yet,” Anthony said, according to a New York Daily News report. “You can always use Phil Jackson inside an organization, his philosophy, his mindset, his resume, what he brings to a team, what he brings to an organization. That goes without even saying, so we’ll see how that plays out.”
It is widely believed that Jackson will take on the role of team president with the Knicks. Sources are indicating that the team and Jackson have agreed in principle and it’s simply a matter of dotting the i’s and crossing some t’s.
It is hard to argue with owner James Dolan’s interest in bringing the former Knicks player into the fold. Eleven NBA titles as a head coach will make a guy an attractive hire. Jackson also serves as a bridge to the Knicks’ glorious and successful past, as Jackson was on Knicks teams that won two titles in the ’70s.
For what it’s worth, Carmelo, even though he reportedly was kept in the dark about Jackson during the onset of negotiations, is looking forward to having Jackson come aboard.
“You can’t take for granted what he knows about the game of basketball, whether he’s on the sideline or in the front office. I’m sure he will try to his best to do what he has to do to try to build a championship team. He knows how to put guys together, put a team together,” Anthony said. “We’ll see what happens, but I haven’t talked to him, haven’t talked to anyone about the front office about their plans or anything like that.”
Unfortunately for Carmelo, though, is that according to George Karl, one-time coach of Anthony back in his Denver Nuggets days, Carmelo doesn’t fit the mold of what Jackson looks for in a player.
“To me, when you ask me that question, I don’t think Melo is a Phil Jackson type of player,” Karl said on Colin Cowherd’s radio show, according to ESPN.com. “That would be my answer to that.”
It may be a moot point in the end. Anthony can seek out greener pastures during free agency this summer. Or maybe the Zen Master and Melo can have a meeting of the minds and Jackson can convince Anthony to stay in New York for another few years.
Carmelo, at least for now, claims to not believe Jackson joining the organization will have any effect on his free agency decision.
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.”