The 2017 NBA off-season just started for the New York Knicks and it is already a disaster. Knicks president Phil Jackson may have ignited a clash with team superstar Carmelo Anthony, who could be receiving the support of Kristaps Porzingis.
In a press conference last Friday, Jackson suggested that it is time for the Knicks to part ways with Anthony. The 32-year-old arrived in New York from the Denver Nuggets in 2011 via a blockbuster trade.
“We’ve not been able to win with [Anthony] on the court at this time. I think the direction with our team is that he’s a player that would be better off somewhere else and using his talent somewhere where he can win or chase that championship,” Jackson stated as reported by ESPN.
It appears that Jackson meant good with his statement but Anthony might have understood it differently. The All-Star forward is yet to respond but many believed he already did through Instagram. According to Bleacher Report, just minutes after Jackson’s conference ended, Anthony posted a photo.
So far, it remains uncertain if this is Anthony’s response to Jackson, although this was not the first time the two had a conflict. If a feud is really taking place, then the NBA veteran may have an ally in the form of Porzingis. A tweet by Sports Illustrated showed that Porzingis liked Anthony’s post.
Perhaps Porzingis is no longer happy with everything happening within the Knicks organization. In another report by Bleacher Report, it was mentioned that the 21-year-old did not attend exit meetings. Ian Begley of ESPN, through a tweet, stated that the reason to this is the young big man’s “frustration” with the “dysfunction” and “drama” in New York.
Porzingis siding with Anthony is bad news for the Knicks and Jackson. As of this moment, aside from Anthony, he is the only star they have on the roster. If he too will go against them, then there might be no big names left in the Big Apple. Derrick Rose has an undetermined future with the franchise when he tore the meniscus in his left knee late in the 2016-17 regular season. Joakim Noah, similar to Rose, is dealing with a major health setback (rotator cuff tear) and it is unknown if his stint with the team is going to be extended.
All of this puts the Knicks in a terrible situation. They missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year as they finished with a 31-51 record. The prominent additions they made were troubled by injuries and failed to have a significant impact on their campaign. Now, arguably their top two guys, are revolting against the man pulling the strings.
This could be the toughest off-season Jackson will need to survive as the leader of the Knicks. Dealing with Anthony is expected to be on top of his priority list. If he truly aims to part ways with the face of the franchise, it can be easier now than in the past couple of years.
There are reports saying Anthony is ready to void the no-trade clause in his contract. Once this materializes, Jackson just needs to find a business partner willing to accept Anthony. Great interest should be present when he is officially placed on the trade block since he remains a great scorer and is still one of the best forwards in the NBA today.
When the problem with Anthony is resolved, Jackson can focus on Porzingis and the Knicks’ rebuilding process. Hopefully this year, New York gets the opportunity to land players who will help bring back the former glory of the organization.
[Featured Image by John Raoux/AP Images]