Phil Jackson hasn’t spent much time with the Knicks since the press conference announcing his hiring as president of basketball operations took place in New York last week.
But the opportunity presented itself on Tuesday, and Jackson took advantage by having a brief discussion with the team’s best player.
The Knicks were in town to face the Lakers, and Jackson attended the team’s shootaround. While nothing was said publicly, it appeared clear that he and Carmelo Anthony had a discussion behind closed doors.
From Marc Berman of the New York Post:
Phil Jackson stepped onto the court for the first time as Knicks president during Tuesday’s morning shootaround at Staples Center and apparently met with Carmelo Anthony in the locker room beforehand.
Jackson and Anthony were the two notable figures who remained in the locker room while the rest of the Knicks and coaching staff took the court. …
As Anthony stepped out of the locker room, he didn’t divulge Jackson was inside and gave no indication he had a meaningful chat with Jackson.
“I’ve seen him here and there,’’ Anthony said coyly. “Not where we sit down and talk. I’m sure we’ll get together very soon.’’
Anthony had said previously while the negotiations with Jackson were going on that he had never spoken with him. That appears to have now changed with Jackson officially in the fold, but the work that needs to be done to turn the franchise around won’t begin to take place until the current season is finished.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.