Yes, this is the type of offseason in which we keep tabs on who's eating dinner with whom. (We've had this type of offseason before.) Previously, Phil Jackson dined with heartthrob coach candidate Steve Kerr. Tuesday night, Jackson dined with free agent-to-be Carmelo Anthony. First, a photo found its way to the internet:
The subjects of this photo are grainy enough to be pretty much anyone/anything-- like, I'd believe you if you told me this was Bob Dole dining with a statue-- but Ian Begley followed up with some digging and reported the meal did happen along with a vaguely obvious and obviously vague sense of the dinner conversation:
New York Knicks president Phil Jackson met with Carmelo Anthony on Tuesday night at a Manhattan restaurant to discuss the team's coaching situation and the star forward's pending free agency, according to a source with knowledge of the talks.
Jackson talked with Anthony about Kerr during their dinner meeting on Tuesday night at American Cut steakhouse in Manhattan, according to a source with knowledge of the meeting.
American Cut is in Tribeca. Their menu includes dishes for two like the Tomahawk Ribeye Chop and the Surf & Turf, but we have no word on whether Jackson and Anthony ordered one of those. The distance between them in the photograph suggests they probably did not, though they do each have longer arms than the average person, so it's difficult to gauge. No word either on whether Jackson or Anthony ordered any sauces or butters or a Feather Ridge Farm Egg or Foie Gras atop their steak(s), if they indeed ordered steak. Melo kinda seems like an oyster guy.
So what have we learned? We've learned Phil Jackson likes to meet over dinner downtown, which I like. We've learned he's staying in contact with Melo before the period of reckoning comes, which I like. We hear he's keeping Melo abreast of his coach pursuit, which I like as well.
And now I'm hungry.
Update: If you want absurdly intimate details of the dinner scene, here you go.