Carmelo Anthony on Phil Jackson dismantling team: ‘I’ve got to trust in the plan’
No one, especially Carmelo Anthony, could have possibly seen the season going as spectacularly awful as it has for the New York Knicks. Even those with the most dire, doomsday outlook on the team’s questionable prospects of succeeding this NBA season could have envisioned that as the calendar turned to 2015, the Knicks (5-32) would be the owners of the worst record in the league.
Knicks president Phil Jackson essentially pulled the plug on the team’s nightmarish death march to irrelevancy by dismantling the roster, jettisoning Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to Cleveland in a three-team deal that frees up a decent chunk of change with which the team can pursue free agents this summer.
Anthony, will miss his fourth straight game on Wednesday but hopes to return to the court next week, probably did not have this kind of horrid season in mind when he re-upped with the Knicks during the offseason, signing a five-year, $124 million deal in July.
“When I first committed back to New York, that was something I always said: I had to trust that them guys know what they’re doing and believe in them guys. And that was one of the reasons I wanted to come back,” he said on Wednesday, via ESPN.com. “Here’s an opportunity with the trust. Everything starts now.”
Even if he believed the team wasn’t going to compete for an NBA title — or setting his sights lower, a deep run in the postseason — Anthony at least had to expect the Knicks would be in the hunt for a playoff berth come spring. Obviously, that ship has sailed … and then sunk.
“I kind of knew that it was going to be kind of a rebuilding situation,” Anthony continued. “But to be in the situation that we’re in now from a record standpoint, I couldn’t imagine this in a long time.”
To hear it from Anthony, despite the roster turnover, despite throwing in the towel on the season (understandably), he still believes that Phil Jackson is the man to lead the Knicks back to contender status. Even more, he has to trust the process.
“I’ve got to trust in what’s happening,” Anthony said. “I’ve got to trust in the plan that they’re trying to put in place.”
(photo credit: Paul J. Bereswill)