Knicks president Phil Jackson hasn't exactly been whispering sweet nothings about Carmelo Anthony this season. The 32-year-old forward is staring down a potential split with the Knicks this off-season and Jackson has all but kicked Carmelo out the door using his dirty shoes—taking not-so-veiled jabs at Melo's place in the former Lakers coach's holy grail triangle offense. But now the veil has come off, my friends, with Jackson using near-Shakespearean syntax during his end-of-season press conference on Friday to say about Melo, "He would be a player better off somewhere else."
But how did we get to this point? Well, with the Knicks going 80-166 in Jackson's three years tenure as president, Jackson has had to find his scapegoat, and Melo seemed like the best bet. The Knicks' 31-51 season this year proved that the team was angling for a rebuild for a moment farther down the line —well past Melo's prime—rather than finding a way to make things work right now.
Throw in an exit meeting earlier this month, where Melo seemed ready to battle for his time with the Knicks—to whom he forced a trade in 2011—and you've got a fairly clear beef on your hands.
But Carmelo literally has the pen in his own hand. Carmelo has to waive his own no-trade clause in order to leave the Knicks, and Jackson is well aware of that. So it's no surprise that Jackson might be incentivized to keep airing out their dirty laundry just to piss Melo off. Just take these for example:
Melo has the option to leave the Knicks with a solid, final 'fuck you' to Jackson. Or to ride it out and battle the evil within—one of those 'keep your enemies closer' kind of vibes. If Melo chooses to stick around—especially with Phil Jackson reportedly picking up a two year option with the Knicks—this could be a fun couple of seasons ahead...
Aaaaaand Kristaps and Chris Paul are getting in on the action: