Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace believes that Phil Jackson’s criticism of Carmelo Anthony is good for the New York Knicks.
Metta World Peace played for Phil Jackson for two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was a member of Jackson’s 11th and final championship team in 2009-10. Seven seasons later, Metta finds himself back with the Lakers this time as a mentor to their young squad.
On Sunday, Peace found himself answering questions about his former coach and his recent dust up with Carmelo Anthony.
Per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Metta believes that the tension between Phil and Melo is helpful for the Knicks.
It reminded Metta of times when he and Phil would curse each other out in practice.
“F–k you Phil,” Peace recalled Sunday. “Motherf—er.”
Difficult to see the “Mindfulness” meditation sessions leader screaming f-bombs at practice, but according to Peace it happened.
The 37-year-old veteran said that Anthony’s response reminded him of Kobe Bryant.
“Phil’s going to push you. He is going to see where your mind’s at,” Peace said. “And Melo responded well. I’ve seen the comments. I like the fact that Melo didn’t back down. I like the fact that Melo had some competitive comments and he went back at Phil. So it reminded me of when Kobe went back at Phil.
“Melo said, ‘We’re going to stick here. And be with the team. You know. We’re not listening to anything on the outside.’ And that was great. That was great, man. And that’s what the Garden needs, man. They need that controversy. They need it, man. When I was there, everybody was so tense. They need that little shake-up.”
Anthony reached out to Bryant, his long-time friend, for advice on how to deal with Jackson’s criticisms.
Per ESPN.com, Anthony said he and Bryant have had “countless conversations” on Jackson critiquing his stars through the media.
Most importantly, Metta stated that Jackson’s controversial strategy worked for him when he was in L.A.
“He don’t give a f–k. That’s what he wants. He wants that. Sometimes I’d come to practice and maybe I wasn’t feeling it. So would say something to get under my skin,” Peace said. “So it pushed my buttons and I had a great practice out of nowhere. So those type of moments I had with Phil I really appreciate. You appreciate it in the long run.”
As Bondy points out, the distinction between the two eras is that Jackson isn’t a coach anymore. As a front office guy he’s more hands off.
According to Metta however, that doesn’t make a difference.
“He does what he wants. He gets the big bucks and say what the f–k he wants to say. That’s why he gets the big bucks. He’s the boss at the end of the day. He can say whatever the hell he want to say. Who is running the show?”
But when Peace was told that Melo had a no trade clause he gave the superstar some credit.
“Alright, then they’re both running the show.”
Peace’s Lakers host the Knicks Sunday, Dec. 11, at 9:30 p.m. ET at the Staples Center.