New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony said on Thursday that Phil Jackson told him he is part of the team’s long-term plans, despite rumors and quotes to the contrary.
Anthony made the comments in an interview with SI Now’s Maggie Gray.
In 2015, Anthony signed a five-year, $124 million contract to remain in New York. However, the star forward was the subject of trade rumors in February, and will turn 32 next month.
Jackson also made cryptic comments about Anthony during the season, at one point telling the media some of the team’s best games—including ones they didn’t win—were when they played without Anthony.
When asked if he though he was part of Jackson’s long-term vision for the Knicks, Anthony said he discussed those plans with the Knicks president.
“I really sat down and looked him in the eye man-to-man and he told me that,” Anthony said. “That’s the only thing I can go off of, another man sitting in front of me and telling what he feels, what he likes what’s his plan. That’s the only thing I can really go off of.”
Anthony averaged 21.8 points, 4.2 assists and 7.7 rebounds per game for the Knicks this season, playing in 72 games after missing much of last year with knee troubles. The Knicks went 32–50, missing the playoffs for the third straight season.