Melo, Phil haven't talked about coaching search
NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson discussed the Knicks‘ coaching search during their exit meetings last month and haven’t spoken about it since.
The lack of communication is a bit odd because Anthony has said he wants to share his opinion with the front office during the search.
“I’m pretty sure people would assume that [I’d be in contact with Jackson]. I would assume that too,” Anthony told ESPN on Thursday during a promotional appearance in Manhattan. “But what can I do? Bang down the door? Knock down the door and point a finger at Phil and say why hell you ain’t … .”
Anthony trailed off and laughed.
Jackson has spoken to former Cavaliers coach David Blatt and Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton about the Knicks’ vacancy, according to sources. Knicks interim head coach Kurt Rambis also remains a strong candidate for the full-time job, league sources say. The Knicks could broaden their search, but Jackson said last month that he would “probably” limit his search to candidates he knows.
Anthony seemingly isn’t in lock step with Jackson. The veteran forward told Sirius XM Radio earlier Thursday that he would have a “problem” if the Knicks didn’t consider all the options available.
“It needs to be a process. As long as there’s a process and you go through the proper channels to figure out exactly what you want to do, then I don’t have no problem with that,” Anthony told the radio channel. “But if you don’t go through that process and you don’t at least look and see what’s out there, then we have a problem.”
One available coach Jackson did not reach out to was Tom Thibodeau. Jackson did not contact Thibodeau before Thibodeau accepted the position as the Timberwolves’ head coach and president of basketball operations, sources say.
Anthony believes Thibodeau would have accepted the Knicks job if it had been offered to him.
“I’m pretty sure in Thibodeau’s situation, I’m pretty sure he wanted to come. He waited a while to see if [New York] was going to reach out to him. It didn’t happen,” Anthony told ESPN. “I’m pretty sure if he would’ve gotten offered the job, he would have [taken] it with no regret. He would have jumped on it. I know that for a fact.”
The Knicks could still broaden their search because they have no first-round picks in the upcoming June draft and no need to rush the decision. Other available candidates include Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Jeff Hornacek. Former Knicks great Patrick Ewing, a lead assistant with the Charlotte Hornets, has expressed interest in the job.
Anthony said Thursday that he doesn’t know what Jackson will do.
“I don’t know kind of what they’re thinking about going through the process,” he said. “I don’t know if he already made his decision. I don’t know. Nobody knows what he’s thinking. That’s the hard part.”
The Knicks declined to comment Thursday on the lack of communication between Anthony and Jackson. The lack of dialogue with the team president hasn’t tempered Anthony’s commitment to the Knicks or the “Zen Master.”
Anthony, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, told “The Dan Patrick Show” that his “goal” is to retire as a Knick.
“At this point, I still have to believe in what Phil is doing. I can’t say that I don’t believe in him no more, this is over with. I still have to believe in him,” Anthony told ESPN. “I’m here. I still want to be here. I still want to be successful here, so I don’t have no other choice but to believe in [his plan].”