Sportress of Blogitude

Phil Jackson criticizes Carmelo Anthony for holding ball too long

An interview Phil Jackson conducted Tuesday with CBS Sports Network is making a lot of waves over the New York Knicks president finally discussing his controversial “posse” comments about LeBron James.

But lost in the fray as the sports world reacts to Jackson’s curious contention that the use of the word in question “could be something I could regret” is how he directed some oddly timed criticism at Carmelo Anthony.

In essence, Jackson believes Anthony could excel in the triangle offense … if he only stopped hogging the ball so much.

“Carmelo a lot of times wants to hold the ball longer than — we have a rule: If you hold a pass two seconds, you benefit the defense. So he has a little bit of a tendency to hold it for three, four, five seconds, and then everybody comes to a stop,” Jackson said, as transcribed by ESPN. “That is one of the things we work with. But he’s adjusted to [the triangle], he knows what he can do and he’s willing to see its success.”

Jackson, in fact, believes Anthony could experience the level of success enjoyed by two of his former triangle disciples.

“He can play that role that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant played,” Jackson said. “It’s a perfect spot for him to be in that isolated position on the weak side, because it’s an overload offense and there’s a weakside man that always has an advantage if the ball is swung.”

It’s interesting how Jackson elected to levy criticism on Anthony in such a manner and at this particular time. After all, the Knicks (12-9) seemingly have turned the corner after a rough start to the season, winning four in a row and seven of ten ahead of Wednesday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Anthony is playing well this season, too, averaging 23.5 points, six rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

Then again, Jackson’s ego — not to mention devotion to his beloved triangle offense — can sometimes get the best of him. More than that, the Zen Master — when he’s not giving out meditation books to his players — often seems to relish being the proverbial riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. In other words, it’s simply more of the same from Jackson.