The Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony wasn’t a fan of the triangle, and he also wasn’t a fan of teammates who wanted to embrace it.
Phil Jackson is gone, but Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks aren’t going to stay out of the news. Of all the things the president did while he was there, his constant preaching of the triangle was just as newsworthy as the deals that he made. More often than not, players and coaches (and the media) helped paint a narrative that no one was in favor of the offense. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, that wasn’t the case.
Kristaps Porzingis is on record with the Post saying that he was beginning to enjoy the read-and-react offense:
“We’re starting to learn it now the way we should and we should have been playing from the beginning of the season,” Porzingis said then. “So we’re a little behind. Hopefully, I don’t know when, we can start using it properly and making some impact playing it. I like the triangle. My whole first season, we played nothing but the triangle so I know it pretty well.’’
Berman relayed a message from one of his sources, saying that “Melo really chewed [Porzingis] out, lit into him.” That’s not ideal. We also don’t know how true this is. Given the high-stress atmosphere with the Knicks, particularly Anthony, there may not be any hyperbole at all. From the outside looking in, Jackson and Melo routinely bumped heads, with Anthony taking the high road more times than his executive.
Jackson has taken to Twitter to subtweet his star, called him a ball hog and topped it off by saying he’d be better off playing elsewhere, but he made zero attempts to move Melo who was more than willing to waive his no-trade clause if he approved of the destination. Now that Phil’s gone, Anthony’s next up.
Also Read: Even With Jackson Gone, The Knicks Still Have Problems
Any resistance on Melo’s end to run the triangle isn’t a shock. He’s not the type of player who would thrive in that system. After 14 seasons, Anthony’s carved out a quality career being an isolation scorer, and that is the antithesis of Jackson’s proposed offense. Moreover, Anthony’s production has declined the last couple of years and posted his lowest scoring averages since his rookie and sophomore campaigns — 22.4 a night this year and 21.8 in 2015-16.
How the summer plays out is going to be interesting. In all likelihood, the signs point to Anthony spending another year in New York. He doesn’t want to move far and would only entertain going to Cleveland or Houston to play with LeBron James or Chris Paul and James Harden. Another option would be buying him out, but that’s a move that James Dolan doesn’t want to execute. I could see why. Although the Knicks would have upwards of $15 million in cap room, Anthony’s contract would remain on their books, and he’d be playing elsewhere.
However, if ownership agrees that this would be better for the long-term future, it’s something they must consider — bite the bullet and begin to rebuild.
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