‘Don’t Think He Knew How To Be a Leader’- Phil Jackson Reflects on Time With Carmelo Anthony With New York Kicks

Published 03/26/2021, 11:28 AM EDT
Feb 26, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony (00) is defended by Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Carmelo Anthony is one of the best players of his generation. His scoring was effortless, but he could never capitalize on his success and become an NBA Champion. While he did get close when he was with the New York Knicks, he was never able to get over the championship hump.

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Phil Jackson had come out of retirement to be an executive with the Knicks. He has now opened up and revealed that he felt Melo lacked the leadership qualities needed to help turn the tide over in New York.

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“We had made a, you know, five-year contract with Carmelo, and Carmelo is a leader. I think he wants to be a leader, I don’t think he completely knew how to be a leader, as a player. And I think that the strength of his personality was intimidating to some of the coaches that were asked to coach the team.

“And so there wasn’t this compliance that has to go between players and coaches. As much as I tried to interject my own beliefs in that I don’t think you’re close enough to the ground in that situation to really be effective.”

Carmelo Anthony: What went wrong in New York?

Carmelo Anthony is one of the best players to have worn a Knicks uniform in this millennium. The team has been one of the worst teams in the league for the better part of 20 years. However, with Melo at the helm, the team made it to the Playoffs for multiple seasons. Their only series win of this millennium also came under Carmelo in 2013.

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Jan 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony (00) dribbles the ball as Houston Rockets forward Danuel House Jr. (4) defends during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

However, the situation behind the scenes was never fruitful. Melo did not have a good relationship with Jackson, and Jackson was never able to build a championship cast around Anthony. The team saw a lot of turnover until the Knicks tenure came to a bittersweet end for Carmelo.

DIVE DEEPER

‘Greatness Speaks For Itself’- CJ McCollum Opens Up On Carmelo Anthony’s Impact on the Portland Trail Blazers

about 2 months ago

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Anthony hasn’t won a championship since leaving New York, but is on a contender in Portland right now. While they may not be championship-ready, Melo will do everything to push them to a title considering the clock on his career is also about to ring.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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