Phil Jackson told Carmelo Anthony he’ll be coaching puppet master of Steve Kerr
On Tuesday, Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony enjoyed Caesar salads and filet mignon during a two-hour dinner meeting at American Cut, a Manhattan steakhouse.
Jackson reportedly arrived at 8:30 and Carmelo showed up a short time later. The two met at the bar and were later seated in an “ultra-private” room in the back of the eatery that can sit 16 but the two had it all to themselves, according to an eyewitness.
Josh Wolfe, a fellow diner at the steakhouse, snapped the above photo of the two engaged in conversation and posted it to Instagram.
It is assumed that among the topics of discussion were Anthony’s upcoming free agency and the vacant head coaching position.
Subsequent reports now suggest that the substance of the “deep conversation” between Jackson and Anthony included the Zen Master informing Carmelo that his plan is to serve as a puppet master of sorts, coaching by extension through Steve Kerr, who is the presumed front-runner for the Knicks head coaching job.
“Phil wanted [Anthony] to know that Kerr and his thinking will simply be an extension of himself,” a source told The Wall Street Journal. He wanted Carmelo to know he’ll still be able to coach him by extension.”
Jackson’s desire to insert someone who fits into his mold — or can be molded by him — makes perfect sense. The belief that Jackson will play coaching puppet master is further emboldened should Kerr be hired, as the former player under Jackson has not held a coaching position at any level. Jackson telling Anthony about his plans to treat Kerr as some kind of courtside marionette through which he will orchestrate the X’s and O’s certainly might allay any concerns Carmelo may have about Kerr’s inexperience in coaching.
Another issue that may have been addressed during the dinner meeting was how Jackson has stated publicly that his hope is that Anthony would be willing to take a pay cut to stay with the Knicks, with the assumption that the money freed up would allow Jackson to further upgrade the roster.
Anthony apparently had not heard about Jackson’s comments, according to the source.
“[Anthony] didn’t see [Phil’s comments] as all that different from what he’d said himself a couple months ago,” the person said.
“Money isn’t the key factor at play here. Winning is.”
As it should be.
[H/T Pro Basketball Talk]