Charles Barkley: Phil Jackson Trying To ‘Piss Carmelo Off’

Charles Barkley is one of the most controversial analysts in sports. While his off-the-cuff, straight, no chaser comments endear him to many, that same quality tends to land him in hot water fairly often. It was just a few days ago that Charles Barkley called out LeBron James for going to the media and saying that he needed more talent in Cleveland to win.

The most recent comments from Charles Barkley surround Phil Jackson, the New York Knicks, and the ongoing Carmelo Anthony saga in the Big Apple.

“[Jackson is] trying to piss Carmelo off enough that he accepts a trade,” Barkley said Wednesday on Mike & Mike.

“Very simple. Carmelo has a no-trade [clause], and he’s trying to make him so mad that he accepts a trade. That’s the only thing it can be. I mean, he gave him a no-trade, there’s nothing he can do about it, he wants to start rebuilding and he can’t do it as long as Carmelo’s there.”

For better or worse (bruised ego’s and hurt feelings aside), Charles Barkley has a way of telling it like it is — whether you want to hear it or not. And, even though Charles Barkley does catch a lot of flak for his incendiary comments, it doesn’t mean that he’s wrong.

Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith during live broadcast. [Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]

The fact is, Carmelo Anthony has been attached to NBA trade rumors for years now, but, those NBA trade rumors have heated up considerably in the last few years — and even more so now with the February 23rd NBA trade deadline approaching. Still, Charles Barkley’s comments are interesting in the larger context of the New York Knicks franchise and building for the future.

With Carmelo Anthony and his no-trade clause in place, essentially, moving Carmelo Anthony is entirely out of the franchise’s hands (directly, anyway). Perhaps the Zen master Phil Jackson is engaging in siege warfare to effectively smoke Carmelo Anthony out from within. By allowing the team to tank so badly, Phil Jackson may be looking to force Carmelo Anthony’s hand, and Carmelo Anthony may decide to wave his no-trade clause altogether and jump ship rather than go down with it.

Also, Phil Jackson is accustomed to winning — both as a player and as a coach — and yet, his tenure manning the front office for the New York Knicks has been everything but successful. Ultimately, whether the bulk of the blame rests on the front office or the players, it doesn’t change the fact that the New York Knicks find themselves in a dire situation this season. The Derrick Rose/Joakim Noah experiment has largely been a flop, and, with Derrick Rose recently wanting a max contract for minimal production, the New York Knicks’ woes seem to only be multiplying.

Recent NBA trade rumors were shot down that seemed to suggest that the Cleveland Cavaliers were looking to do a straight swap of Kevin Love for Carmelo Anthony, and, as the NBA trade deadline gets closer, it seems that the list of suitors for the aging Carmelo Anthony is getting shorter.

Perhaps Charles Barkley hit the nail on the head a little too well with his comments. Carmelo Anthony clearly wants to stay in New York, and his no-trade clause only re-enforces this. Perhaps the only way to truly get him to pack his bags and waive said clause is to make the situation so dire that he has no choice but to leave.

As Crown Heights, New York native Nas says in his track Destroy and Rebuild, from his album Stillmatic: “They say the bridge is over, the bridge is over/Nah, this is a time we destroy and rebuild it.”

Perhaps, in his own Zen-like way, this is what Phil Jackson has in mind.

[Featured Image by Scott Halleran/Getty Images]