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Jackson is, of course, the president of the New York Knicks – the club that Anthony works for. Carmelo, though, has a guaranteed contract that runs through 2019. That deal includes a no-trade clause, which means Jackson can’t waive Anthony’s income source, nor trade him to an NBA Siberia of Phil’s choice in a fit of pique.
That doesn’t mean Anthony is completely safe from in-house backlash when he sharply disagrees with what Jackson chose to talk about with MacMullan, in reference to James’ friends, family and actual legal representatives recently. Nor does it mean we should be inured, as yet another voice (this time a longtime friend and contemporary of James, who happens to work for Phil Jackson), decides to address the controversy.
“I don’t think you have to be a rocket scientist or an educated person to understand what that means to us.”
“There’s different words that different people use in different ways. To some people, the word ‘posse’ might not mean anything. It might just be a word. To some other people, it could be a derogatory statement. It all depends on who you mention it to, who you’re talking about,” Anthony said.
“In this sense, he was talking about five black men. And do I think he meant it in any kind of way? I really don’t know. I don’t think he did. I would hope that he didn’t. Sometimes Phil just say things, and he say the first thing that come to mind. And he’s probably in his office right now regretting it.”
We’ll, we’re not sure. Jackson, as is the case with many general managers (but most notably, Phil) did not address the media on Tuesday, pointedly letting his previous words speak for themselves. Perhaps, in letting the toil and trouble fester, he’ll get an entire future book chapter out of this entire back and forth.
“I would never want to hear that word about people I consider family and people that I’ve come up with and been through thick and thin with,” Anthony said. “I would want to be called a tight-knit group or a family, because that’s what I consider those people.”
“I know him personally,” Anthony said of James. “I know him very well. So for him to say that, whatever he said, whether he lost respect for somebody or not, he really means that. I know him. I don’t think he would just say something. Whatever was said, I’m pretty sure it hit home and he responded to it.”
“You just never know when it comes to Phil. I just don’t understand him talking about LeBron right now in November. I don’t understand that.”
Well, it’s about time we learn to understand it. Phil Jackson’s continued tour, attempting to shape his legacy and ease a bit of What He Sees Fit into the modern NBA, remains all about him and has little to do with the New York Knicks. The team he’s charged with changing.
This isn’t a wise, old hippie slumming on the sidelines when he’d rather be up in Montana. Jackson loves the attention, and craves the recognition that would come from besting his former general manager bosses in Chicago and Los Angeles (two Jerrys: Jerry Krause and Jerry West), and matching his longtime coaching combatants in Gregg Popovich and Pat Riley with a blast of front office brilliance.
Why he has to be so craven, in a desperate attempt to stay relevant as his Knicks flail away (an at-home win over the Dirk Nowitzki-less Mavericks on Monday brought the team’s record to 4-6), should be obvious to all of us:
Phil Jackson shouldn’t leave Carmelo Anthony out to explain his boss’ words. Phil Jackson was brought in to run the same role, getting in the way of MSG owner James Dolan after the years that Knicks players and coaches spent ages in front of microphones (with MSG PR reps lording over every on-record pause) had to answer for the guy up “in his office.”
Now Phil’s locked the door behind him. Which is so embarrassingly expected.
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