“We have not been able to win with him on the court at this time, and I think that the direction of our team is that he is a player that would be better off somewhere else and using his talent somewhere where he can win or chase that championship.”
That was Phil Jackson’s comment on Carmelo Anthony heading into the off-season for the Knicks (which comes without a playoff trip for the fourth consecutive season). Everyone wondered if Anthony would respond, and he did on Instagram — but who saw the Leonardo DiCaprio Great Gatsby reference coming? Anyone?
To rehash the obvious, Carmelo Anthony has a no-trade clause and can veto any deal Jackson tries to put together, so Jackson needs to work with Anthony and his agent Leon Rose to come up with a trade that works for everyone (maybe in Cleveland, maybe with the Clippers, maybe somewhere else, so much depends on what happens in the postseason). Maybe they are behind the scenes. Either way, Jackson doesn’t need to sell Anthony on leaving through a public forum, he just needs to help facilitate the deal quietly and privately.
Jackson was a master manipulator as a coach, sometimes using the media to get his message across, but it’s one thing to do that with players as a coach when you’re in the locker room and guys see you every day. It’s very different when it comes from an on-high ivory tower, as it will from a team president. Jackson has not mastered that media transition smoothly.
All that said, Anthony will get traded this summer.