Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony both thought the Knicks would make the playoffs last season.
New York, of course, went 17-65.
Jackson has adjusted to a more patient approach, drafting Kristaps Porzingis and trading Tim Hardaway Jr. for the rights to Jerian Grant.
Melo, reportedly, has not.
Stephen A. Smith of ESPN said Friday on Mad Dog Sports Radio on Melo’s reaction to the Knicks’ draft:
I talking to my sources last night. All they said was, he’s furious. He’s livid. He feels completely hoodwinked and betrayed by Phil Jackson. He feels like he was lied to, like he was sold a bill of goods. He knew that he couldn’t get as money anywhere else, and he’s willing to concede that he wanted his money. But he didn’t know it was going to be like this. He didn’t know it was going to be this bad. And he can’t believe that his second season under the Phil Jackson regime, he has to look forward to it being worse than even last year was.
Melo re-signed with a losing, aging, capped-out team. What did he expect?
If Jackson made any promises about a miracle turnaround, Melo was foolish for believing them.
The Knicks will have cap space, and it’s possible they land a second star who pushes them into contention. But that’s so unlikely.
Trying for a quick fix when one isn’t present would just worsen the problem. There was nobody to draft at No. 4 whom the Knicks could have reasonably expected would change their fortunes next year. Rookies need time to develop.
I understand Melo’s impatience. There’s a shelf-life on his playing career. But he put himself in this position. Any reasonable person could see the Knicks bottoming out, and Jackson thinking long-term is the best thing that could have happened to the franchise.
My advice to Melo: Enjoy your money. That’s what you chose. And, if you’re still upset, talk to the Knicks about a trade. I’m not sure how keen Jackson is on keeping a declining and overpaid 31-year-old, anyway – especially if he’s furious and livid.