Phil Jackson vs. Carmelo Anthony in New York was a Game of Thrones level feud. The pair didn’t meet for a stretch, Jackson poked at Anthony through the media and thought the Knicks would be better off without the All-Star (to which Anthony responded with a Great Gatsby reference), and Anthony thought Jackson would have traded him for “a bag of chips.” Eventually, Jackson got the boot, Anthony got traded, and the Knicks moved on.
Anthony, however, has not completely moved on.
Carmelo Anthony was on the 100th episode of the “All the Smoke” podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson and talked a lot about his time with the Knicks. You can tell how much he loved most of the experience.
“There wasn’t nothing like it. I tell people all the time. You ain’t seen nothing or experienced nothing until you’re in The Garden when it’s rocking,” Anthony said. “When it’s rocking, there’s no better place in the world to be in. For me, that’s home for me every night.”
But things changed when Jackson arrived and took over as president of the organization, bringing in Derek Fisher as coach and trying to force his version of the triangle offense on the team.
“When Phil came, he was just like, he cut that line of communication off me from the Front Office, from the staff members, even players,” Anthony said. “You know what I’m saying? The minute that I knew that was the game that was being played, like ‘Nah.'”
Things spiraled from there for both of them (Jackson reportedly thought Anthony was a bad influence on and didn’t pair well with Kristaps Porzingis, but KP didn’t work out for the Knicks on a few levels).
Does Carmelo think about patching things up with Jackson?
“Nah. I mean, I don’t need closure.…
“I know if I had a sit-down with [Jackson], you wouldn’t say that. You would say something totally different. You’re gonna tell me something like, ‘oh, it wasn’t like that.’ I ain’t really got time for that. I don’t need it at this point.”
Anthony has moved on in that sense, rejuvenating his career in Portland by accepting a role off the bench, and now Anthony is trying to win a ring next to LeBron James on the Lakers. Jackson has retired and will go down as one of the great coaches the game has ever seen. Just not its best GM.
It’s Anthony’s former agent Leon Rose who has done an impressive job so far in Jackson’s old role as Knicks president.