Carmelo Anthony: Phil Jackson wanted ‘to trade me for a bag of chips’
Carmelo Anthony has moved on from a disastrously frustrating tenure with the New York Knicks. It’s clear, however, that Anthony, now with the Oklahoma City Thunder, nevertheless remains bitter over how things played out with the Knicks in the end.
Specifically speaking, Anthony still harbors resentment over a dysfunctional relationship with Phil Jackson, who Anthony believes was willing “to trade me for a bag of chips.”
It was generally accepted as fact that Jackson had a strong desire to jettison Anthony, perhaps for years. But the Zen Master was ousted this past offseason before he could, and Scott Perry was hired as general manager in July. With Perry running the show, the Knicks upped their asking price for Anthony.
“They went from asking for peanuts to asking for steak,” Anthony recently told Marc Stein of The New York Times.
Anthony also said he “believed in Phil” from the onset. Things quickly changed, however, after agreeing with Jackson on a $125 million with a no-trade clause in 2014.
“Then last year it went to: I was being pushed out,” Anthony told Stein. “There were things being said about me that I didn’t know where they were coming from. And I still had to go in that gym and play and practice and deal with the media, answer all those questions every day.”
The widely apparent rift between Anthony and Jackson got worse last season. In fact, Anthony said he only spoke to Jackson “maybe twice” during the 2016-17 campaign.
“There was no support from the organization,” Anthony said. “When you feel like you’re on your own and then on top of that you feel like you’re being pushed out …”
It’s hardly surprising Anthony still harbors resentment for how things played out with the Knicks. But Anthony without question finds himself in a much better situation in Oklahoma City. Perhaps Anthony will be able to move on sooner rather than later. And with Anthony’s Thunder squad hosting the Knicks at Chesapeake Energy Arena Thursday night, there’s no time like the present.