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Carmelo Anthony probably likes Tom Thibodeau; We just don't know how much

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Melo has many reasons to like Thibs.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Daily News reporter Frank Isola has reported that Carmelo Anthony would very much like to see former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau coach the team next season:

A source close to Anthony insists that his preferred choice is Tom Thibodeau, a coach Jackson seems to have no interest in speaking to. Remember that the next time someone says or reports that Phil is just doing his due diligence. Yeah right.

Knicks fans have a right to be suspicious -- Isola has a longstanding relationship with Thibs, and his Twitter caping for Thibs is bordering on obsessive at the moment. But that doesn't mean he's wrong.

There is a very strong chance that Melo prefers Thibodeau. The dude is widely respected around the league, and he's on the shortlist of just about every team with a coaching vacancy. He and Melo will be working together this summer, assuming Melo follows through on playing for the 2016 Olympic Team (Thibodeau will be an assistant coach).

Here's what Melo had to say about the coach back in 2014, when he was rumored to be considering the Bulls in free agency. Per Brian Lewis:

"Thibs is a great coach. His system kind of reminds me of [Spurs coach] Gregg Popovich's system. You put anybody in that system and it's going to work. And that's what they've been doing,'' Anthony said after Friday's win in Toronto. "They had guys who have been sitting out all season long, guys [have] been in and out the lineup, and they seem to get it done."

Melo elected to remain in New York -- dude clearly loves New York -- but that respect likely hasn't wavered. The Bulls used to crush Melo even when he was on good teams, but he and his teammates stomped the Bulls pretty thoroughly (3-1 record) in the season 1 A.T. (after Thibs).

If the Phil Jackson regime is dead set on avoiding Tom Thibodeau at all costs, it really could rub Melo the wrong way. Phil is no idiot, so I imagine he will at least give him a cursory look. This awkward dance between player and president may have only just begun.