What was the low point of the Knicks’ season? It’s not easy to answer because there are so many options to choose from.
But a new report from Ian Begley at ESPN may have pinpointed the moment, at halftime of a Knicks loss to the Nets in Brooklyn in March when the Nets dropped 14 threes on the Knicks in the first half. That’s when Carmelo Anthony and coach Jeff Hornacek, plus others on the Knicks coaching staff, got into it.
Hornacek lit into the Knicks in the visitors’ locker room of the Barclays Center, and according to people familiar with the matter, Hornacek’s diatribe was expletive-filled and delivered at a high decibel level….
Carmelo Anthony, whose default demeanor is relaxed and easygoing, responded with anger and expletives of his own. For those accustomed to seeing Anthony live by his oft-used idiom, “Stay Melo,” it was jarring.
Anthony’s R-rated rant essentially questioned the direction of the entire organization, according to sources. Associate head coach Kurt Rambis fired back, calling out Anthony’s effort on defense.
First, if you’ve played a competitive sport past the age of 10, you’ve been in a locker room where the coach went off on the team after a sluggish first half. And sometimes players fire back. It’s not something wildly out of the ordinary.
But this seems to set the picture for the Knicks heading into the summer.
Anthony has had it with the Knicks, the triangle, and the overall direction (or directionlessness) of the organization. Phil Jackson is ready to move on from Anthony, who is not a good fit for the triangle on the court and is not the leader he wants off it.
Anthony is going to get traded this summer, the only question is where. Remember he has a no-trade clause, essentially giving him veto power over any deal. He’s not getting dumped to Orlando for prospects, he’s going to need to go to a contender — or a team with some other major draw — to get him to agree to the deal.
It’s going to be one interesting summer in New York.