Adam Zagoria, Team Reporter
Carmelo Anthony is a chess player.
And he seems impressed with the Knicks’ biggest move in years: the hiring of Phil Jackson as President of Basketball Operations.
“I’m a chess player, so that was a power move right there,” Anthony said with a big smile after putting up 23 points and seven rebounds in the Knicks’ 115-94 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, their sixth straight victory.
“You know what I mean? Now what we gonna see what’s the next move, but that was a great power move.”
The next move will come sometime after Tuesday when Jackson is formally introduced at a press conference that is sure to be an event.
Anthony has said he plans to opt out and become a free agent this summer, but he also has said he would take a pay cut to remain in New York if he believes they are trying to build a championship contender.
He said he’s looking forward to speaking directly with Jackson about his plans for the Knicks. Anthony said he won’t consult his friends Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan for their impressions of Jackson.
“I’d rather sit down with Phil myself, hear his plan and try to talk to him and try to figure everything out, rather than seeking advice from somebody else,” Anthony said. “I’d rather build that relationship on my own.”
Anthony said he hasn’t spoken directly with Jackson yet, but believes Phil can change the culture of the Knicks.
“Phil knows what to do, how to build teams, how to win,” Anthony said. “That’s the most important thing. When you know how to win, whether you’re a coach ,whether you’re in the front office that stands out.”
Tyson Chandler said he believes Jackson — who may split time between the East and West Coasts — will be “hands-on.”
“I can see him being hands-on, the type of competitor that he is,” said Chandler, who returned after missing two games because of a family illness. “I can see him really taking time out with certain individuals and really maximizing the talent that we have and getting us all to come together for a common goal.”
Chandler also said Jackson’s star power could attract free agents to the Knicks going forward, especially in 2015 when they will have cap space for players like Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge.
“I could see that, I can definitely see that,” he said. “Phil has a way of bringing the best out of players and maximizing their talent.”
Adam Zagoria covers the New York Knicks and Big East hoops for NBA.com and SNY.tv. He also appears as a Big East Basketball Insider on SNY and 1050 ESPN Radio. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.