Despite Jackson’s arrival, Melo, Woodson focused on the present

Josh Newman

The Knicks are in the middle of one of their best stretches of the season, having won seven straight games following a 92-86 decision over the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers on Wednesday evening.

Carmelo Anthony, Paul George

They are four games back of the eighth — and final — Eastern Conference playoff spot and all pistons appear to be firing, but no one seems to care.

The reason for that is pretty simple as Phil Jackson was introduced Tuesday morning as the team’s new President of Basketball Operations. The winning streak has gone by the wayside in favor of visions of the future and what Jackson, an 11-time NBA championship-winning head coach, can do to turn around a franchise which has been without a title since 1973 and been largely in complete disarray for most of the last decade.

Still, there is a season to play and a playoff spot to chase, an uphill climb that hasn’t been made an easier with Jackson riding into town and the circus that has ensued.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to work with Phil, but that’s besides the point right now,” Carmelo Anthony said during a rare pregame interview session with reporters. “It’s kind of hard for me to sit here before the game and talk about the Phil Jackson situation when I got a game to go out there and play and we still have 15-16 games to try and make this push and get into the playoffs. It’s a grat situation in one hand, but it’s an unfortunate situation what I gotta sit here and talk about that rather than focus in on playing basketball.”

Jackson said on Tuesday that he considered Anthony part of the team’s future plans, but Anthony’s impending free agency and whether or not he will re-up for in New York for the maximum five years and $129 million is among a myriad of issues Jackson will have to deal with once this season ends. Realistically, nothing is getting accomplished until the Knicks are done playing this season and Anthony’s status isn’t likely to be first on the agenda.

It was revealed on Tuesday during the press conference and an extensive media tour afterwards that Madison Square Garden Executive Chairman James Dolan offered Jackson the head-coaching position first before the conversation ever got to a job in the front office.

That makes it sound like Mike Woodson’s days as Knicks head coach are numbered. Whether or not that is true, Woodson has continued to stay the course, saying nothing controversial while trying to push forward over this final month of the season with the Knicks still in playoff contention.

“Mr. Dolan, this is his team, he has that right to talk to anyone about a coaching position,” said Woodson, who admitted he didn;t know Dolan offered the position to Jackson until Tuesday. “It happened, obviously, but I’m the coach of the Knicks right now. I still have a job to do and as long as I’m coaching this team, I’m gonna try to put my best foot forward in terms of moving forward and getting this team in the playoffs. That’s what’s first and foremost at this point.”

Jackson addressed the coaches and team at their practice facility in Greenburgh on Wednesday morning. Woodson, Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire all labeled the encounter and brief and introductory, which is standard and an obvious sign that nothing radical will be taking place with Woodson, Anthony or otherwise until the offseason.

“I’m very grateful and happy to be a coach in the NBA and Jim gave me this opportunity two years ago and I’m still coaching the Knicks and I’m very grateful for that,” Woodson said. “We’re in the midst of trying to get this team in the playoffs and we are playing better basketball, but I’ve still got a lot of work on my hands. I’m up for the challenge as long as I’m still the coach.”

“As far as the future goes, that’s gonna handle itself,” Anthony said. “We’re gonna deal with that as an organization when that time comes. Everything else is put to the side. We’re just trying to win basketball games and make this late-season push.”




28 comments
nixredux
nixredux

@rb3

You're asking a question that's been keeping us all up at nights. Does Mello stay, does he go? Who knows?

Like any real man, he will most likely defer to his wife. The question is does LaLa like warm or cold weather? Does she prefer west coast, or east coast? Will she continue with her sad show?

If I was you, like all of us here, I'd tune into Stephen A Smith to find out. The man just knows things.

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

Love this quote from Carmelo Anthony yesterday:


"I love it. I don't think that was anything bad that he said," Anthony said. "As an individual over the years, I think I've gotten better as a player, playing at a very high level as an individual. Like right now. For him to come in and say that, we're on the same page. There's a whole other level that I haven't taken this to. I feel each season I've gotten better so just as Phil can teach, I can rely on him, talk to him, use him as a mentor to try and get to that next level."

rb3b3
rb3b3

Hey listen fellas, do you guys really think melo is going to leave ny? I have read all of melos comments in regards to phil Jackson being the new president here, and if you read between the lines, it tells me that there is no way in hell he is leaving New York. Yes he will opt out to test free agency, but only because he has never been wined and dined, and at the end of the day, when all the smoke clears, he wants to win a championship in New York and with phil jax now on board a 13 time champion, melo knows in his heart that phil has the resume and the ability not only to bring melos game to an even higher level, but most importantly, melo knows if anyone can help him win a championship who better then phil fkn Jackson??? My belief is that melo will 100% stay here in New York no doub in my mind!!. This is a very telling melo quote..."


“It’s good to hear that. I’m blessed and honored to hear that,” Anthony said. “I’m glad, I was hoping that I would be part of the future plans. I never once said that I wanted to leave New York or anything like that. The only thing I said was that I wanted to dabble in free agency that I could opt out and become a free agent. I’m excited about that. I’m excited about the opportunity to hopefully go forward with Phil.”


March 19 2014

meloin5
meloin5

"I never once said I want to leave New York".  I am here because I know what I can do and being on the brightest stage and dealing with the media daily does not affect me.  See my body of work since I've been here.  As a matter of fact, see the work I've done on the Pacers last night.  When my teammates are in sync with me we are unbeatable.  The Chips will be in NY within the next five years.  

KnickelusKnickleby
KnickelusKnickleby

Melo looks inspired, THJR has to find other intangibles when his shot is off ( rookie wall ) , Shump is back to lockdown mode, Tyson holding his own, Felton coming through when needed, JR just being JR , STAT is playing like " Knicks is Back" STAT and the list goes on 

we're winning games and clawing at the eastern conference 

one game at a time , LOSE AND DIE. 

Kenny Kaufman
Kenny Kaufman

The last team Miami & the Pacers want to see in the 1st round is the New York Knicks!!!

L
L

No doubt you build around Carmelo. I can only imagine how the offense would look with him if you bring in a consistent 20ppg scorer and a PG.

Kobe says there's levels of the game Melo has not reached and Phil can get him their. I for one say you don't let Melo go and look for two other players who we HOPE can produce under the bright lights of MSG.. We saw what George thought about the big stage last night.. lol

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@rb3b3 He's gone champ!  Enjoy the remainder of the season with Melo wearing a Knicks Jersey.  He' opting out here and opting in with the Bulls!

Jean Marc
Jean Marc

@akamarb  blowing double digit leads in the 3rd against the lowly Kings

L
L

@akamarb

yeah I don't think its realistic to bring in a new guy and expect him to be able initially to deal with the NY pressure. Love or Aldridge have never done it and are playing with smallmarket teams. Thats assuming we can get one of those guys. And they probaly wouldn't come without Melo.

Ray Jorge
Ray Jorge

@L Yeah Paul George was terribly disappointing but Phil needs to bring Lance Stephenson back home to NY before Brooklyn does!

L
L

@xmenreturn @rb3b3 yo cmon . At least say Houston. Drose is the sofest player around.....

ma

omega_red
omega_red

@xmenreturn @rb3b3  for a Derrick rose with suspect knees? I dont see that happening. Tell me some of the pros and cons of him teaming up with the Bulls?

L
L

@ rayjorge

I think it was the pressure that got to him. Just reinforcing my point Just anybody and everybody can't play in NY. NY fans are quick to put down their players and stars. Look at Ewing.. Not many players like him. Maybe I'm crazy but give me Eli over Payton, based on I've never seen him choke in a Super bowl... lol

New York sports market is brutal. That goes for all sports. We praise the Yanks.. They cover up there managerial screwup with money. Guitar Jimmy can't do that. He gets blasted by fans who don't understand. And ESPN writers who manipulate fans.

rb3b3
rb3b3

@xmenreturn @OLDKNICK@rb3b3


let us also not forget one of the biggest reasons for melo staying in ny. Those of you who are married will understand, those of you who are not, you will not understand... LA LA his wife, said she wants him in ny, which at the end of the day all the he said she said goes out the window, if the wife wants him in ny, that's where he will be!!!



SORRY BULLS FANS, MELO IS STAYING PUT IN NY!!!!!!!! PHIL and

LA LA cemented that!


oh and so does the 30 extra million!


LA LA QUOTE


"

La La Anthony "definitely" thinks her husband, free-agent-to-be Carmelo Anthony, will re-sign with the New York Knicks this summer.

"I definitely think he will stay," La La Anthony said in an interview with Bravo TV's "Watch What Happens Live." "I know that he wants to stay"


THIS WAS BEFORE PHIL JAX CAME TO TOWN

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@omega_red @xmenreturn

1. Even Without Rose, the Bulls are contenders with Melo.   Bulls need a scorer.

2. Noah wants him there and Noah is maybe one of the best center in the game now. He's a leader that plays hard on both sides of the ball, he's an excellent passer and he will do the dirty work that Melo won't have to do as much underneath.

3. They have a good coach that makes defense a priority.

4. If Rose comeback ANY where near form, the Bulls are the team to beat in the East period.

5. Melo won't have to change his game much at all to fit in with the Bulls.

skot
skot

@Biggie  Not sure when K-Mart and Bargnani are coming back, if at all. I think it is important for both to come back. I know a lot of folks here will laugh at me wanting Bargnani back. But from what we have seen from him this year, he plays great one-on-one defense against some centers. He has the length and weight to hold his own ground. We saw yesterday how Hibbert suddenly got hot. It is against players like Hibbert, Dwight Howard etc that we can use him effectively, if ever we make the play-offs and if it comes to that.

Jean Marc
Jean Marc

@akamarb  We gave a lot of games away in the fourth quarter this year. I can count 10-15 games where we had solid leads going into the fourth and we wilted away due to poor decision, bad shot making, poor game management by Woodson. Our fortune has changed during this winning streaks due to the followings: 

  • Woodson has been playing Prigs from the end of the 3rd to the middle of the 4th quarter. We saw it again last nite during the Pacers game.
  • Woodson plays Timmy and Shumps together more with Prigs at the point. That brings some life into Shump.
  • The play of Amare has been huge. He has a new bounce in his steps and as such he is starting to be a force on the court.


This is all well and good. The NBA is all about adjustments. Other teams will adjust to us. Does Woodson have in him to take us to the next steps when other teams catch up to us. The jury is still out

D.Salahudin
D.Salahudin

@Kiyan Carter  Look at the teams Doc, Pop, and Thibs, coach. I could also throw in Hornacek and Brooks. Those teams always play with the same passion no matter who is on the floor, you don't hear about any distractions because the coaches won't allow them to seep in.  That's leadership. Woodson didn't manage this team well, and created a myriad of distractions that weren't necessary early on. Dolan's firing of Grunwald probably played a role too. 

D.Salahudin
D.Salahudin

@akamarb  The Knicks have talent. The mental make up or fortitude of the team has always been and issue, even dating back to last year. The team just fought through those times better. When you go from as good as the Knicks were last year to how badly they have played this year it has a lot to do with leadership, from the top on down.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@Kiyan Carter Woody and Melo are gonna deal with the present man!  Later both are gone!  

One on a boat ride and the other to the Windy city.

Let's enjoy the the remainder of the games we have left with Melo ok?

kofi
kofi

I think timmy could be that other player... think next year he can average 20 points a game. I believe the focus is going to be in the front court. I would love to bring in Noah when his contract is up.