Knicks president Phil Jackson conceded Friday that it is in the team’s best interests to move Carmelo Anthony.
“I think the direction with our team is that he would be better off somewhere else,” Jackson told reporters. Jackson added that Anthony would be best served playing for a title contender and that the star was “cordial” when they discussed his future with the team.
Anthony said Wednesday after the final game of a disappointing Knicks season that he was “open” to be traded this summer. Anthony has a full no-trade clause and has previously indicated that he would only be interested in playing in another large media market, such as Los Angeles. He revealed last month that he turned down an opportunity to be traded to the Clippers at the deadline this year. His comments Wednesday, though, appeared to suggest he’d be more open to other opportunities, regardless of location.
Anthony’s six-plus seasons with the Knicks have been tumultuous at times—dampened by injuries and subjected to intense media scrutiny. The Knicks made the playoffs in his first three seasons, but never since.
Carmelo appeared to respond with this Instagram post.
On Saturday, Michele Roberts of the NBA Players Association issued a statement calling Jackson's comments "inappropriate."
"We voiced with the Commissioner today our view on the inappropriate comments by Knicks President Phil Jackson," Roberts said. "If players under contract cannot, under threat of league discipline, speak openly about their desire to be employed elsewhere, we expect management to adhere to the same standards. The door swings both ways when it comes to demonstrating loyalty and respect.