Carmelo Anthony was essentially served his walking papers today at Phil Jackson’s press conference.
When asked if he wanted to keep Melo, Jackson bluntly stated the Knicks all-star would “be better off somewhere else.” Anthony, who just two days earlier affirmed he wanted to remain a Knick, took to Instagram to send a simple response.
I’m sure this is doing wonders for our marketability with free agents. If there’s any silver lining, it’s that Melo controls his destiny with his no-trade clause. Let’s hope he can go to a contender or elite team (Clippers, Wizards) and this charade and disrespect can finally end.
If you were expecting Phil Jackson to break his media silence with a professional press conference, think again. The Knicks president took to Twitter to take a thinly veiled shot at Carmelo Anthony and gave further fuel to the chaotic atmosphere that has become the Knicks since Melo hit the trading block.
The tweet centers around Jackson’s response to a highly critical article from Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding that questioned Melo’s will to win and alleged infatuation with the spotlight. Phil gave his seal of approval while comparing Melo’s shortcomings to 80s CBA journeyman named Michael Graham.
Bleacher’s Ding almost rings the bell, but I learned you don’t change the spot on a leopard with Michael Graham in my CBA daze.
Graham played on the 1984 champion Georgetown Hoyas. His academic career was mired by off the court issues. Graham was drafted by the Supersonics but failed to make the final roster. He played four years in the CBA averaging 7.8 points and 6.6 rebounds.
Yeah, this is the player Phil Jackson is comparing his star athlete to.
Never in a million years did I think Phil Jackson could turn the Knicks into a bigger joke than what we saw in the Isiah Thomas years. We have a toxic atmosphere where neither the players nor the coaches know what’s going on. Every day they’re out there trying to make sense of the rumors being leaked from Phil’s office or his minions in the media. It is clearly a major factor in the team’s recent tepid play, including last night’s debacle at home against the Lakers.
So what does Jackson do as our leader? Trashes the player he’s allegedly trying to get teams interested in trading for. It remains to be seen if this disrespect is enough to get Melo to trade his no-trade clause and essentially get ran out of town. And we wonder why most elite free agents have no interest in joining this mess.
Phil Jackson didn’t waste any time securing the first big trade of the NBA off-season by acquiring former MVP Derrick Rose from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Jose Calderon, Robin Lopez and Jerian Grant.
According to league sources, the Bulls will also send guard Justin Holiday and a 2017 second round pick to the Knicks.
The 27 year old Rose has been plagued by severe knee injuries since his 2010 MVP season. He underwent surgery for an ACL tear on his left knee in 2012. In 2013, Rose suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee that required season-ending surgery. Last season, he averaged 16 points (42% FG) and 5 assists over 66 games.
I won’t act like I’m absolutely thrilled by this move, but I’m not mad at it either. Since the season ended, the Knicks front office has made it clear they want to contend over tanking. New coach Jeff Hornacek also made it clear that we needed an upgrade over Calderon at point guard.
So the options were to overpay Mike Conley to a max contract, or pay less but gamble more with a combustible character in Rajon Rondo. In Rose, we get a player that will be motivated in a contract year. Should Rose fail, he’s off the books next year and we have max money available to go after a franchise player like Russell Westbrook.
Make no mistake, it’s still a question mark if Rose stays healthy. And I’m sad we had to give up one of last season’s best contributors (Robin Lopez) and a promising young talent (Grant) to make this happen.
For now, does this look like a competent Big Three to you?
Having lost 9 of their last 10 games, Knicks President Phil Jackson has announced today the firing of second year head coach Derek Fisher.
The move comes with the Knicks on a season-worst five game losing streak. Despite nagging injuries to key players Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and Lance Thomas, the Knicks play in recent weeks has been marked by poor starts and haphazard fourth quarter execution. Since returning to .500 with a January 12 win over the Celtics, the Knicks have gone 3-11 and now sit at 12th in the Eastern Conference standings.
In his two years as head coach, Fisher has amassed a 40-96 record.
Assistant Kurt Rambis has been elevated to interim coach duties.
It had to be done and I commend Phil for having the guts to sack one of his pupils.
It’s clear that Fisher was unredeemable in areas that are flat out unacceptable as head coach: his rotations, play calling and ability to adjust to the flow of the game. This has resulted in a team that lacks confidence and identity.
No sane Knicks fan believes this team is a contender, but they’re damn sure better than 12th place in the East. Let’s hope a good point guard is the next trick Phil has up his sleeve.
The Knicks made their first significant move in free agency today with the signing of veteran guard Arron Afflalo to a two-year deal worth $16 million.
The 29-year old Afflalo spent last year in Portland where he played 25 games. He averaged 11 points (41% FG, 40% 3pt) and 3 rebounds over 30 minutes. He missed the post-season due to an arm injury in April.
Afflalo’s best season came in 2013-2014 for the Orlando Magic, where he started 73 games and averaged 18 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists (46% FG, 41% 3 pt.).
Afflalo also comes in Carmelo Anthony experience, as the two played together on the Denver Nuggets for two seasons (2009-2010).
Considering some of huge contracts being doled out this free agency for role players, I’d say the Knicks did a good job here. Despite a bad season in Portland, Afflalo is a two-way player and clear upgrade at the two-spot over Iman Shumpert and JR Smith. And it leaves New York roughly $20 million to still pursue the three big free agents left (Jordan, Aldridge, Monroe). So far, so good Phil.
Despite the 2014-2015 Knicks holding a franchise-worst 14-61 record, team president Phil Jackson is stressing a “plan” is in place to rebuild the team next year.
In a video sent to season ticket-holders, Jackson highlighted the team’s expected high draft pick and cap space as main reasons to remain hopeful.
While I know this has been a challenging season for our team on the court, I can also tell you that everyone in the organization is working tirelessly to get our Knicks back to a place where we are once again competing at the highest level,” Jackson said in a video message obtained by ESPN New York that doubled as a pitch to season ticket holders to renew for the 2015-16 season.
We have made key roster moves to free up significant cap space that will provide us greater flexibility to acquire talent in this summer’s free agency,” Jackson said. “And for the first time in many years, we expect to have a top pick in the NBA Draft this June. These are key steps to building a roster of players that have both the talent and character to win in New York and who, alongside Carmelo Anthony, will become a team that can become a consistent winner.
We have a clear plan and expect our efforts to take really take shape as we enter the 2015 draft and free agency in the months ahead,” Jackson said in the video. “I ask that you remain optimistic and hope you will join us on our continued journey as we build a team that once again reflects the spirit of being a New York Knick.
There can’t be any possible way next year’s team is worse than what we’ve seen the last few months. Outside of Melo, the entire “Knickstape” core that won 54 games two years ago is gone, ensuring we’ll have a completely fresh start and hopefully a new identity. It’s been a horrific year, but a necessary one.
Carmelo Anthony delivered his first statement since resigning with the New York Knicks, stating that his heart always remained in New York throughout the free agency process.
In an official statement posted on http://www.ThisIsMelo.com titled “My City, My Heart” , Anthony said his decision to opt out of his contract was simply a routine business move to “explore all of the options available to me.”
Anthony concluded by affirming his desire to work closely with Knicks president Phil Jackson, who Anthony praised as a “champion who builds championship teams.”
At press time, the details of Anthony’s new five-year contract have not been disclosed. You can read the entire statement below.
A few years ago I dreamed of coming back to New York City, the place of my birth, and on February 23, 2011 that became a reality. This organization has supported me and in return, I want to stay and build here with this city and my team. At this pivotal juncture in my career, I owed it to myself and my family to explore all of the options available to me. Through it all, my heart never wavered.
During this journey I met with some quality organizations who have amazing talent and leadership. I thank them for their consideration, belief in my talent, and opportunity to imagine the possibilities.
I will always remember this chapter in my life. In the end, I am a New York Knick at heart. I am looking forward to continue my career in Orange & Blue and to work with Phil Jackson, a champion who builds championship teams. Madison Square Garden is the mecca of basketball and I am surrounded by the greatest fans in the world.
As Carmelo Anthony continues to mull his playing future, Knicks president Phil Jackson talked to the media to give his thoughts on the resigning delay, LeBron James’ role in said delay, and if Melo should be taking less than the offered 5-year, $129 million dollar contract. Through it all, Jackson remains composed. He revealed that he thought their last meeting went very well, as verified by Yahoo sources last week. However, Jackson also did confirm that his recent text messages to Anthony over the last few days have gone unreturned.
Whatever happens, one thing remains — in Phil we trust.
We finally have footage of Derek Fisher’s new role as head coach courtesy of yesterday’s practice for the summer league team. As you’ll see from the YouTube comments, fans are already claiming this clip has more ball movement than we saw all season with last year’s team. Jokes aside, it’s great to see Fish and new assistant coach Kurt Rambis drilling home importance of moving the ball for open shots. Our offense was such a struggle last season on all fronts that the massive change in culture Phil Jackson is attempting to implement needs to start early. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
The New York Knicks cemented their willingness to retain Carmelo Anthony by offering a five-year, $129 million max contract during last night’s meeting in Los Angeles.
The Knicks offer came after Anthony met with the Lakers, the final team on his free agent list. LA reportedly offered the maximum contract available within their cap — $97 million over four years.
Although the Knicks are reportedly the favorite to resign their star player, Anthony has not given a verbal commitment and advised he would use the rest of the weekend to make a decision. The lead alternatives to New York remain the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets.
With all the rumors that have spiraled over the last week, I deliberately refrained from writing much about “Melodrama 2014.” Like most fans, I’ll be happy when this is over. I’d definitely prefer him to stay and even the max contract isn’t that big of concern. I’m more worried about what free agent star gets paired with him next year at a max contract.
As of now, I’d say it’s 75% in New York’s favor that he stays.