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Woj: Melo is more determined than ever to remain in New York thanks to Phil’s antics

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What a dunderhead (Phil, not Melo)

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at New York Knicks Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The fallout resulting from Phil Jackson’s ill-advised tweet continues, thanks to this report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! that dropped Wednesday afternoon. The report focuses on Carmelo Anthony’s reaction to Phil’s very thinly veiled campaign to convince Melo to waive his no trade clause. How has Melo reacted, you ask?

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson’s public campaign to pressure Carmelo Anthony into waiving his no-trade clause is working to harden Anthony’s resolve to remain with the franchise, league sources told The Vertical.

“[Jackson’s] underestimating ‘Melo’s willingness to stay,” a source familiar with Anthony’s thinking told The Vertical.

The article goes on to say that Anthony specifically has told some of his teammates that he “refuses to let Jackson run him out of the Knicks.” Hmm. It’s too bad Phil couldn’t have avoided pissing Melo off in the process of attempting to trade him. Oh, wait! There are a bunch of different ways Phil could’ve avoided it! To name a few obvious ones:

  • Phil implied in that tweet on Tuesday that he’s not a fan of Melo’s game. If that’s the case, he probably felt that way a few years ago too, back when Melo was a free agent, in which case he could’ve decided against offering Anthony a max deal.
  • Phil could’ve refused to include a no-trade clause in Melo’s contract, which would’ve given Phil free rein to trade Melo to any team at any time without needing his approval.
  • Phil could’ve set up a meeting with Melo and, at that meeting, told Melo that he feels the Knicks need to enter a rebuilding phase, one which logically should include trading Melo to a team of his choosing. The best part about this scenario is that Melo suggested it himself a few weeks ago as a way to resolve this situation amicably.

But again, instead of doing any of those very reasonable things (which, okay, you can argue the first two involve a bit too much hindsight to penalize Phil for), Phil Jackson has found it prudent to take shots at Melo from his ivory tower while refusing to speak to him or the media directly. This type of Master Manipulator (TM) bullshit may have worked when Jackson was a head coach and interacted with the players every day, but Phil’s an executive now. The trust that’s forged between a coach and his players doesn’t exist when you’re looking at an executive/player relationship, so Phil shouldn’t expect that Melo understands whatever weird reasoning is behind his public criticism. Carmelo Anthony is an adult, and Phil Jackson needs to start treating him like one.

Side note: one other thing Woj’s report gave us was the first concrete confirmation that Melo is open to joining the Cavaliers, Clippers, or Celtics.

Anthony has privately indicated an interest in listening to trades to [the Cavs, Clippers, and Celtics], but the Knicks have been unable to find a trade package that they’re willing to accept, sources said.

So that’s where we stand. Phil wants to trade Melo to a contender and Melo is okay with being traded to a contender, but Melo’s probably going to refuse to waive his no-trade clause out of spite. And I don’t blame him. Phil’s shown himself to be an incompetent executive, and I’m completely here for Melo standing his ground until Phil leaves (or is fired).

Let me leave you all with this, quite possibly the best burn of 2017 so far:

Jackson was referring (in Tuesday’s tweet) to a journeyman player, Michael Graham, whom he coached in the Continental Basketball Association. Anthony is a nine-time NBA All-Star and three-time Olympic gold medalist.

Damn right. You tell ‘em, Woj.