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Report: Phil Jackson tells Carmelo Anthony he fully expects to hire Steve Kerr

Steve KerrDespite rumors that Steve Kerr is interested in earning a head coaching position with an NBA team on the West Coast, all indications are that he is still on track to become the next coach of the New York Knicks. According to the Wall Street Journal, Phil Jackson told Carmelo Anthony over dinner earlier this week that he fully expects to hire Kerr.

Jackson had dinner with Anthony in a private room at the Tribeca Steakhouse in New York. He reportedly confirmed to Anthony, who is expected to opt out of his current contract, that he will attempt to re-sign him via free agency. Jackson also told Anthony he expects Kerr to be an extension of himself on the sidelines, which makes sense since Kerr played under Jackson for five seasons and won three NBA championships.

As further evidence that the Knicks are still likely to sign Kerr, the New York Post reported on Friday that the Los Angeles Lakers are not currently pursuing the TNT NBA analyst. The reason? They believe Kerr is already too far along in talks with Jackson and the Knicks.

Kerr lives in San Diego and has a daughter who attends college in California. Some believe he would prefer to coach closer to home, but there are simply too many signs connecting him to the Knicks. It would be extremely surprising if he ended up elsewhere.

H/T Rotoworld

Oscar Robertson tells Spike Lee that Carmelo Anthony should leave Knicks

Carmelo-Anthony-Knicks-DefenseCarmelo Anthony is set to opt out of his current contract with the New York Knicks and become a free agent. While the recent hiring of Phil Jackson has brought hope to a franchise in shambles, it may not be enough to convince Carmelo to stay. According to Oscar Robertson, Anthony shouldn’t consider sticking around anyway.

On Thursday, Robertson told Spike Lee (of all people) on SiriusXM NBA Radio that Anthony would be crazy to re-sign with New York.

“I would leave today. Let me tell you why,” Robertson said, as transcribed by Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk. “Wherever that kid has gone, when he was at Denver, they had a team that fooled around with the ball, then all of the sudden when they needed a basket, threw it to Carmelo. Then, when he shot the ball, they said he shot too much. Then when he didn’t shoot they said he didn’t shoot enough.

“No matter what he does in New York they’re going to criticize him, the people are going to criticize him, because you got guys on that team (the Knicks) that cannot play. You got guys that are hurt all the time…”

Spike was quick to point out that the reason the Knicks hired Jackson was to clean up the mess they have created. Robertson doesn’t care.

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Carmelo Anthony wants Phil Jackson to bring in second superstar

Carmelo Anthony KnicksCarmelo Anthony was frustrated with the way the New York Knicks’ season went and called the 37-45 record that resulted in the team missing the playoffs a “failure.” He has the opportunity to become a free agent this summer and wants to return to the Knicks, but he also wants to win.

Before committing to the Knicks longterm, ‘Melo is challenging new team president Phil Jackson to acquire another superstar.

‘Melo has a $23.7 million option next season but is expected to opt out in order to sign his last big free agent contract. The Knicks can pay him $129 million over five years, which is more than any other team can pay him.

“I’m not at a point in my career where I want to rebuild,” Anthony said at the team facility Thursday.

He said he is willing to sacrifice money to bring in talented players because he is so hungry to win his first championship.

ESPN New York’s Ian O’Connor says ‘Melo specifically wants another superstar on the team, and he says it’s on Jackson to bring in Kevin Durant or LeBron James by 2016. I think that’s an absolutely ridiculous notion and something that will never happen, so that premise is just silly. Their more likely options will come in 2015 when LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo are on the market. By then, it remains to be seen how much of a star the soon-to-be 30-year-old ‘Melo will be anyway.

Carmelo Anthony’s inbox is blowing up now that Knicks are eliminated

Carmelo AnthonyThe New York Knicks were officially eliminated from the Eastern Conference playoff picture on Saturday night, which surprised hardly anyone given the way they have played for the better part of the season. Solid play in the month of March gave the team a chance, but Carmelo Anthony and company came up short. As a result, Anthony’s future is as uncertain as ever.

Anthony has no reason to not opt out of his current deal. Even if he ultimately decides to remain in New York, he can still get more money and years by signing a new contract. Now if only people would stop harassing him via text message, ‘Melo might be able to do some thinking.

I don’t know why Derrick Rose is talking crap, because he could very well be Anthony’s teammate next season. And Kobe’s team is one of the worst in the Western Conference at the moment, so he’d be lucky if ‘Melo joined him. The nerve on some people…

Carmelo Anthony got frustrated with Mike Woodson: ‘Lets play the f—ing game, man’

Carmelo-Anthony-Mike-WoodsonDon’t look now, but the New York Knicks have somehow strung together a series of wins. They beat the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night to pick up their seventh straight victory. Despite that, Carmelo Anthony reminded us late in the fourth quarter that superstar players have a tendency to get annoyed over nothing.

With the Knicks leading by seven points and just 19.5 second remaining, Anthony apparently wanted to go home. Mike Woodson was doing his job by reminding his players that they have no timeouts left and going over the situation when cameras caught a moment of defiance from Carmelo.

“Let’s just play the f—ing game, man,” a visibly frustrated Anthony said before putting his hand in the huddle to try to break up the discussion.

While you could argue that stuff like this happens all the time and it was no big deal, the reaction seemed pretty uncalled for. This is the same Woodson who admitted earlier this season that he forgot to call a timeout at the end of a game during a losing streak, so you can’t blame him for trying to be thorough. Anthony should respect that.

Meanwhile, the Knicks are 28-40 and just four games being the Atlanta Hawks for the 8th seed in the East. With 14 games remaining, they still have a shot at making the playoffs. What happens to Woodson if they go on a run? Phil Jackson will just have to cross that bridge if he comes to it.

Video via The Big Lead

Report: Carmelo Anthony eyeing Rockets, Bulls if he leaves Knicks

Carmelo-Anthony-Knicks-DefenseNow that the New York Knicks have officially announced the hiring of Phil Jackson, people seem to feel comfortable assuming that Carmelo Anthony is not going anywhere. That simply is not a foregone conclusion.

The Knicks are in bad shape financially. They have very little cap space available heading into next season, and signing Anthony (if and when he opts out of his current deal) plus another top-tier free agent would be an incredibly difficult task. The 2013-2014 Knicks are 27-40 and could miss the playoffs. Would Carmelo stick around simply because Jackson is now pulling the strings?

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, sources with “direct knowledge” of Carmelo’s plans claim his top choices when he becomes a free agent this offseason will be the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls. Anthony has said he would take a pay cut to remain with the Knicks, but that seems like a lousy idea given the current state of the team.

“He’ll give New York every option,” the source reportedly told Wojnarowski. “But he has options – and he’s going to explore them all.”

The Bulls and Rockets are already much better teams than the Knicks. Joakim Noah has reportedly been recruiting Anthony to come to Chicago, and the Bulls can afford it. The Rockets think they can, too. The prospect of teaming with either Noah and Derrick Rose or Dwight Howard and James Harden is much more intriguing than anything the Knicks can offer.

Phil Jackson is not a magician. He’s won a ton of championships, but you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s—. It could take the Zen Master a while to get the Knicks back on track, and there’s also a chance that he might prefer to move on without Anthony. At this point, I’d be more surprised to see Anthony in New York next year than I would be to see him elsewhere.

Ex-GM: Carmelo Anthony leaving would do Knicks a favor

Carmelo Anthony KnicksThe New York Knicks seem intent on not losing Carmelo Anthony in free agency, but would re-signing the forward be the best thing for the team?

People fall on both sides of the debate. There are some who feel like ‘Melo’s defense is poor and that he doesn’t share the ball enough offensively, while others see him as an elite scorer and franchise cornerstone. That’s how the Knicks view him, which is why they’re trying so hard to bring him back.

One former NBA GM says ‘Melo leaving would be doing the Knicks a favor.

“I really think if Carmelo left them, he may be doing them a favor,” an ex-GM told Newsday. “They probably don’t see it that way. But in the long run, it’s probably doing them a favor.”

The ex-GM thinks the Knicks would be well situated in 2015 when most of their big contracts are off the books, which would allow them the chance to rebuild.

The Knicks actually did that before and got enough cap space to sign Amar’e Stoudemire and add ‘Melo, but the team has fallen off this season. It’s not just about having extra money, but spending it properly. I’m also part of the camp that believes keeping ‘Melo and building around him is a wise move for the franchise.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk