Carmelo Anthony snoozed during Phil Jackson’s meditation sessions?
It has long been accepted as fact that the relationship between Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson was never in a good spot. Making matters worse, the situation deteriorated even further during their final season together with the New York Knicks.
Now comes word that things apparently reached such a point of dysfunction between the two that Anthony took to outright mockery of Jackson’s affinity for meditation. Jackson once even handed out books on meditation to Knicks players.
It turns out, per a report from ESPN’s Ian Begley, that Jackson took things a step further, running “mindfulness meditation training” sessions with players. And Anthony would seemingly take a snooze during them.
During the sessions, Jackson instructed the Knicks to sit on the edge of their chairs, eyes closed, and count to 10. Breathing in and out, the objective was to clear the mind. They repeated the process several times. Some players were dutiful in the exercise, some indifferent and some downright mocking of its worth, team members said. As Jackson’s relationship with Anthony deteriorated, so did Melo’s commitment to mindfulness training. In the final sessions, witnesses said, it became common for Jackson to tell the players to open their eyes at the end of the exercise, only to find Anthony’s head tilted back, eyes still shut, seemingly snoozing.
The report mentions that Anthony wasn’t the only player who did not take Jackson’s Zen Master act seriously. But given the state of disrepair to which their working relationship devolved — not to mention Anthony’s role as team leader — it probably stuck in Jackson’s craw more that Anthony refused to buy into methods Jackson relied upon throughout his Hall of Fame coaching career.
And it must be remembered that both Anthony (here) and Jackson (here) believed the other was engaging in sabotage. It goes without saying the Knicks organization never would have functioned so long as both Jackson and Anthony were together.