In a column for the FanRag sports network, Charley Rosen, a known Phil Jackson confidant, blasted New York Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony.
The line that left everyone questioning the article’s intentions?
The only sure thing is that Carmelo Anthony has outlived his usefulness in New York.
Rosen, it must be noted, is not Jackson. But he’s viewed by many as a vessel through which the Zen Master is communicating—including by, it seems, Carmelo Anthony, per the New York Daily News‘ Frank Isola:
When asked to respond to that particular line the article, Anthony said: “If that’s the case than that’s what’s coming from that side I guess it’s a conversation we should have. If they feel like my time in New York is over I guess that’s a conversation we should have.”
During Anthony’s post-game interview session with reporters on Sunday, Anthony was informed twice that the article was not written by Jackson but instead a close friend. Anthony, though, had no trouble connecting the dots, suggesting that it is a more than a coincidence that the writer who criticized him in the piece has a relationship with the Knicks team president.
“Listen,” Anthony said, “if that’s what they feel…if that’s what’s coming from that side that’s what’s coming from that side. I haven’t thought once about that to be honest with you. I hear it. I hear all the rhetoric that’s going on out there and I still come to work every day and play and bust my ass and try not to worry about it.”
It doesn’t fell like a total coincidence that Rosen has thrown Anthony under the bus. Jackson has never been one to shy away from speaking his mind, but this is something different altogether. He talked about Anthony’s ball-stopping once and got destroyed; imagine the backlash he’d face for saying Melo has outlasted his purpose to the organization.
At the same time, it’s not like Jackson has denounced Rosen’s work in the past. To the contrary, Rosen was the author of ESPN.com’s Phil Files, so the assumption is he has access to the Knicks president.
None of this, at any rate, is a good look for the Knicks, who slipped to 18-23 and are now 2.5 games off the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 seed after a mostly lifeless loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. Everyone in the organization needs to be on the same page for this thing to turn around, and they’re clearly not.
As Anthony says, if Jackson wants him gone, the two need to talk. Anthony’s no-trade clause gives him the final say in the chat, but it’s a discussion that needs to happen anyway—if only for clarity’s sake.