Phil Jackson won’t be fined for Carmelo Anthony trade talk
NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced Thursday that New York Knicks president Phil Jackson won’t be fined for openly discussing a potential trade of Carmelo Anthony.
“We did not consider disciplining Phil Jackson for those comments about potentially trading Carmelo,” Silver said during his state-of-the-NBA address ahead of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, via the New York Post. “The view of the league is it’s not reciprocal. Players can’t trade themselves, teams can trade players, so it’s never been a history in this league of fining a team or disciplining a team executive for talking about trading a player.”
The need for Silver to clarify the league’s position on Jackson’s surprisingly candid comments about Anthony’s future — or lack thereof — with the Knicks stems in part to National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts admonishing the Knicks boss for his conduct, calling it “inappropriate.”
Roberts’ criticism was inspired by Jackson bluntly stating that if Anthony wants to win now, it would be best for him to waive his no-trade clause and head elsewhere.
“We’d like him to have success,” Jackson said of Anthony, via ESPN. “The opportunity is narrowing. We’d just like him to have success somewhere. We’re not going to be there. Hopefully, we’ll be maybe a playoff team next year. It would be tough to consider us a possible champion.”
Jackson was also asked at the time if wanted Anthony back next season.
“He has a no-trade contract,” Jackson said. “I think I expressed what I felt. I can’t express it any better. I thought it was well-said, even though a lot of you didn’t feel quite that way.”
The perceived feud between Jackson and Anthony has been festering for years and epitomizes the Knicks’ seemingly perpetual organizational dysfunction. A disappointing 31-51 2017 campaign was marred by multiple embarrassments (more on that here and here) and also continued the trend of the Knicks failing to succeed with Anthony in the fold.
Jackson arguably was right in stating Anthony should head elsewhere if he wants to win now. And it’s clear the NBA sees no problem with the Zen Master’s blunt talk.