(The Sports Xchange) – New York Knicks president Phil Jackson said on Friday that All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony “would be better off somewhere else.”
Jackson, meeting with the media two days after the Knicks completed their fourth consecutive losing season, said the team will continue to explore trade options for the 10-time All-Star.
“We’ve not been able to win with (Anthony) on the court at this time,” Jackson said.
“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.”
New York went 31-51, falling well short of expectations with its third consecutive 50-loss season.
The Knicks posted an 80-166 mark and missed the playoffs in each of the first three years under the watch of Jackson, who won a record 11 NBA titles as head coach for the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.
“I never took a jump shot. I never made a substitution, but the buck stops here,” Jackson said.
Anthony, 32, and Jackson were at odds throughout the season because of trade speculation. As tension grew between the two, Anthony at one point said he wanted to remain with the Knicks and would not waive his no-trade clause.
“If somebody was talking bad about you indirectly at your job, what would you do?” Anthony said earlier this week. “You would want that person to come straightforward with you. And I feel the same way. I’m a very honest person.”
Anthony said after Wednesday’s final game of another disappointing season with the Knicks that he was “open” to be traded this summer.
He averaged 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 74 games in 2016-17, his sixth full season with the Knicks.
“He’s carried the basic load for this team,” Jackson said Friday. “I thought he stood up well this year in a lot of tough situations.
“(But) Obviously, it hasn’t worked out as a partnership.”
Jackson said he met with Anthony on Thursday.
“Our meeting was not contentious at all, it was cordial,” Jackson told reporters. “So we’ll go forward with that.
“We’ll take into account (Anthony’s) consideration. This is not a situation we’re going to dump you.
“Right now we need players who are very active, can play every single play, defensively and offensively. That’s very important for us and that’s the direction we have to go.”
(Editing by Larry Fine)