How’s that for a headline folks don’t see every day?
The New York Knicks hit the headlines more than usual earlier this week when it came to attention president Phil Jackson might consider returning to the sideline and splitting coaching duties with Kurt Rambis, only coaching when the team plays at home.
Carmelo Anthony isn’t having any of it.
Usually rather quiet and a team guy, Anthony spoke out about the rumors Tuesday, saying he wouldn’t want Jackson to only coach home games, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:
Nah, nah, nah. I don’t think that should be accepted. I wouldn’t accept that if that was the case. Phil is cool man. He doesn’t need to be on the sidelines no more. He put so many years into this game. He’s cool. He doesn’t need to be on the sideline. I don’t think he’s thinking about coming back down on the sideline. I hope not. Let him ride on out. Let him sit out and be the president.
Anthony wasn’t done there, either. He endorsed Rambis, but suggested Jackson needs to remain on the hunt to find the best possible fit for the job as the franchise heads into a critical summer and subsequent season:
I think you consider Kurt at that job. (Jackson) brought Kurt here for that reason if anything was to happen and the situation is here for him now. I think it’s just more of seeing how Kurt handles the situation right now, how the team does, how the team responds to Kurt.
Clearly it’s a topic Anthony feels pretty strongly about after going most of the season remaining vague, if not silent altogether.
The Knicks are well out of playoff contention after flirting with the idea at some stages of the season. Anthony said earlier in the week the team needs to make a move this offseason from a roster standpoint, so it’s interesting he’s not offering comments on the coaching situation, too.
Anthony wants change. He’s not a guy who will go out and request a trade unless things hit a nuclear stage. But it’s clear he needs to see progress at multiple levels of the organization this summer. On the court, the rotation needs a quality point guard and free agency offers plenty this summer, headlined by Rajon Rondo. A center couldn’t hurt, with possibly Dwight Howard and others heading to market.
On the sidelines, it’s clear Anthony will willingly mesh with most coaches. But he doesn’t want a half measure such as Jackson coaching half the games. He wants a full-time guy who emerged as the best fit for the job after a lengthy process.
There’s no sign the Knicks will slack in these areas. Should they, though, Anthony might have a decision on his hands he doesn’t want to have to make.