Knicks president Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony met at a New York steakhouse on Tuesday night to discuss the superstar's future as well as the team's.
According to reports, the two had a two-hour dinner at a Manhattan restaurant to discuss Carmelo's upcoming free agency, the team's cap plans for 2015 and its interest in hiring Steve Kerr as head coach.
The New York Post is one of several outlets to provide details of the scene, which were captured by eyewitnesses and relayed via sources:
The room seats 16, but Jackson and Anthony were alone, the source said, describing it as a place with marble tables and leather chairs. They met for two hours before leaving, the witness said. A source said the duo was in “deep conversation” during their meeting — a good sign.
There were many issues on the table — Anthony’s July 1 free agency, the plan to build a championship team with 2015 cap space and the potential hiring of Steve Kerr as head coach. And of course, pay cuts and triangles.
One patron of the restaurant posted a picture to his Instagram account of Jackson and Carmelo meeting:
Anthony has an early termination clause in his contract that would enable him to become a free agent this summer one year early. The Bulls and Rockets are expected to be among his many suitors, but no club can offer him more money than the Knicks. That said, Jackson said last week that he's hoping Carmelo stays "true to his word" and re-signs with the Knicks for less money, enabling the team to pursue other players with the remaining cap availability.
On Tuesday, ESPN.com reported Jackson and the Knicks were trying to complete a deal with Kerr to become the team's next head coach by the end of the first round of the playoffs. Jackson and Kerr met over the weekend in Manhattan and reportedly spoke again to discuss the vacancy.
New York terminated head coach Mike Woodson last week after a dismal season and has wasted no time talking to candidates. Kerr has long been rumored to be Jackson’s favorite for the position and appears to have significant mutual interest.
“I’ve made it pretty clear the past couple of years that I’d like to get into coaching, and now it’s sort of out there,” Kerr told the New York Daily News on Sunday. “It’s like anything else, you have to explore it and that’s what we’re doing.”
Kerr, who is currently TNT’s No. 1 analyst for playoff games, had previously said that he planned to speak to Jackson after the Knicks job opened up. Kerr was the president of the Suns from 2007-10, leading the team to a 155-91 (.630) record in three seasons. Kerr played under Jackson with the Bulls from 1993-98.