The Knicks lost to the 76ers in dramatic fashion last week, blowing a 10-point lead late. On the final play, Derrick Rose drove the lane, when the defense collapsed he kicked it back out to the arc to Brandon Jennings, who had open players on either side of him: 40 percent three-point shooter Kristaps Porzingis in the corner, or 35 percent from deep shooter Carmelo Anthony above the break. Jennings chose Porzingis (who had just re-entered the game, bothered by his Achilles) and he clanked it off the side of the backboard. Seconds later at the other end of the court, Philly’s T.J. McConnell was knocking down the game winner over Anthony.
After the game, all the frustration with the Knicks season and him not getting the ball on the final play bubbled over for Anthony, and he went on a tirade, reports Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
According to a source close to the Knicks’ veteran forward, Anthony went on a tirade after the shocking loss, admonishing his teammates for blowing a 10-point lead in the final 2:30 to the inexperienced 76ers. He was also upset that he was frozen out on the Knicks final possession, a sequence that ended with Kristaps Porzingis shooting an air ball from the corner which led to Philadelphia’s fast-break. Anthony never touched the ball.
Afterwards, Anthony told reporters that the loss was “unacceptable” while one of Anthony’s associates said “that was as down as I’ve ever seen him after a game.”
Anthony and Phil Jackson are not tight, and Anthony reportedly blames Jackson for how this roster is constructed and the fact they can’t win. He’s not wrong, but when Anthony re-signed with the Knicks and took the big payday a few years back, he knew what kind of team he was signing up for (if anything, they should be doing more rebuilding and less win-now moves such as Rose and Joakim Noah). If winning was what mattered most, he could have taken less money to win now in a variety of cities (Chicago, then with Rose and Tom Thibodeau, was at the top of that list).
None of this means Anthony is so frustrated as to waive his no-trade clause and get out of town. He’s not, and he’s not going anywhere short term. One of Phil Jackson’s good buddies just wrote — and you have to think it was influenced by PJ — that Anthony would only waive his no-trade for the chance to contend with the Cavaliers or Clippers (or that maybe he could be talked into the Lakers). Neither of those is happening. The Cavaliers already are title contenders with the highest payroll in the NBA and are not adding ‘Melo’s $26.2 million next season (and reducing Kevin Love‘s minutes to shoehorn Anthony into the rotation, that or trading Love). Doc Rivers is far too smart to trade 27-year-old, in his prime Blake Griffin for 33-year-old and sliding down the hill Anthony.
It may be a dysfunctional marriage, but Anthony and the Knicks are going to stay together for a while.
So if he blows off some steam occasionally, the Knicks will just shrug and move along.