Knicks: Childish Feud Between Melo and Phil Keeps Picking Up Steam
Apr 6, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) is greeted by fans as he takes the court before a game against the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Jackson wants Carmelo Anthony out of New York, but he’s not willing to give his star forward up for nothing. Not yet anyway.

It’s time to retake a side again in the latest episode of the Carmelo Anthony vs. Phil Jackson feud. Because that’s the only way, the Knicks operate if you take a side one guy against the other. Very healthy way to run an organization.

On this episode: Even though Melo wants to stay, Anthony’s people have finally agreed to at least discuss giving Phil Jackson what he wants: the 10-time All-Star’s disappearance from the Big Apple.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Anthony’s camp attempted to engage the Knicks in negotiations for a buyout.

Melo wants to have complete control over his destination. After everything he’s been put through this season, he deserves it. Per Stein, the Cleveland Cavaliers are considered a favorite for Melo’s services if he were to secure a buyout.

The logical thought process is that the Cavs want Anthony, but they don’t want to give up any assets for him. They need Kevin Love (their best asset) to obtain Paul George and form that big four to take on the Warriors.

Anthony would love to go to play in Cleveland with his good friend LeBron James. He has no shot at a ring in New York, and maybe more importantly in Cleveland, he’d be welcome.

Now, Anthony’s family is also a major factor in all this. He’s currently separated from his wife La La who went on the Wendy Williams Show today and said Melo’s preference is to stay close to his son.

The New York Daily News’ Frank Isola reported that Melo “was toying with the idea of orchestrating a move to either Philadelphia or Washington.” Both options would be closer to his family than Cleveland. Philly has a nice young core right now, and John Wall just came out and said he’s openly recruiting Paul George to join him in D.C. Melo would do well there.

However, none of this could matter because Phil Jackson isn’t going to do Carmelo Anthony any favors. He’s not going to grant him that buyout. Stein reports that the Knicks have resisted the idea of a buyout.

Maybe the thought of Anthony joining the Cavs and winning a title sticks in Jackson’s craw. We know he doesn’t get along with LeBron and it wouldn’t be easy for him to accept a player who he’s denounced so many times publicly become successful somewhere else.

Or maybe Jackson just wants to maintain some semblance of control in all this mess. Everyone and their mother knows that Anthony has the Hall of Fame coach over a barrel and it kills him.

Then there’s the matter of moving him to the Westen Conference and never having to deal with him. Anthony on the Clippers was always appealing for that reason. When he came back to the Garden with King James, it would be an event, but if he did it with the Clippers not so much.

Six years ago Anthony went as far as to publicly declare his desire to play for the Knicks while under contract with the Denver Nuggets. His love for the team brought him nothing but anguish and misplaced hate.

It’s a shame because the story was set up so perfectly.

Being born in Brooklyn, his wife La La too, Anthony’s basketball idol was Knicks legend of the ’80s Bernard King. His trade, although controversial, was a homecoming. It wasn’t supposed to take this kind of turn.

The Carmelo Anthony era in New York was dying before Phil Jackson arrived, but the Zen Master effectively put a knife through its heart. He started a cold war with Anthony almost from the outset hasn’t shown any signs of stopping.

Jackson thought the “mind games” he used as a coach on Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan would work on Anthony while he was an executive nowhere near the bench.

He was wrong. Now Anthony’s legacy in New York has been reduced to fans being forced to pick a side. Are you Team Phil or Team Melo?


I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.