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Carmelo Anthony doesn’t know who next coach will be, but it won’t be Phil Jackson.
INDIANAPOLIS â€” Itâ€™s understandable if Carmelo Anthony is unclear about things surrounding the Knicks, most notably the direction of a franchise that is swimming up a smelly creek without a draft pick.
But thereâ€™s at least one thing Anthony knows about the coaching situation: Phil Jackson, the most accomplished coach in NBA history â€” who happens to be on the payroll â€” is not going to fill that void.
Anthony never bothered to ask the 70-year-old.
â€œHeâ€™s not coming down. Heâ€™s not sitting on that sideline,â€ Anthony said Wednesday. â€œThose days are long gone.â€
Jackson, who physically is dealing with some issues, confirmed as much during his one session with reporters this season after firing Derek Fisher. The team president then stood pat at the trade deadline and, according to Anthony, never addressed the team.
Anthony acknowledged his relationship with Jackson is more informal because of the separation between office and basketball court.
â€œI donâ€™t think thatâ€™s to the point where he was coaching and he had that player-coach relationship. Heâ€™s more in the front office doing front office work now,â€ Anthony said. â€œSo I donâ€™t think itâ€™s kind of the same relationship.â€
Left to their own devices, the Knicks have lost 12 of their last 14 games heading into Wednesdayâ€™s game against the Pacers, falling to 13th in the Eastern Conference. The last defeat â€” a 122-95 embarrassment against the Raptors â€” prompted a frustrated Anthony to criticize the teamâ€™s effort and bolt the Garden a lot faster than usual.
â€œIt was just a bad night. Sometimes it hits you sometimes, you donâ€™t know how to react to it,â€ he said. â€œSo the best thing to do is just get yourself away from it. Step back and relax.
â€œSometimes I got to have some me time.â€
Richard Harbus/for New York Daily News
Knicks president Phil Jackson.
Still, Anthony said his words were meant to uplift rather than condemn.
â€œI wasnâ€™t going to that place. What I was saying is that we have to want this. We have to want to make the playoffs. We have to want to win basketball game,â€ he said. â€œWe canâ€™t come in and second-guessing ourselves as a team. So it wasnâ€™t me singling out one individual out. Itâ€™s as a team, we have to want to make this push together.â€
Despite some thought into alterations, interim coach Kurt Rambis said he is sticking with the same starting lineup against Indiana. Anthony thought the Knicks were going to come out refreshed and motivated following the trade deadline, but they are 1-2 with bad losses to the Nets and Raptors.
â€œYou would think itâ€™s the opposite of that. Guys through a season thinking about trades, they hear their name in trades, nothing happens and itâ€™s kind of like a relief,â€ Anthony said. â€œSo you would think guys would feel more comfortable that they would be here at least for the rest of this season and we would go out there with a different kind of energy, a different sense of urgency. Thatâ€™s just not the case right now.â€
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