‘Hated This Fact’: Carmelo Anthony Remembers What Annoyed Phil Jackson About His Conversation with Kobe Bryant

Published 08/21/2021, 12:30 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 13: Former NBA player Kobe Bryant (L) and NBA player Carmelo Anthony attend the 2016 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)


Carmelo Anthony has played with five organizations in his career so far (Lakers being the sixth). During all these years, he kept growing as a player and reached his career’s peak with the New York Knicks. 

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When Melo left Denver for New York, everyone believed he was there to stay forever and help them become a championship-caliber team. However, that remained a fantasy as the team’s performance kept degrading with each passing year. On top of that, there were things that led to some bitterness between Melo and team President Phil Jackson.

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When Carmelo Anthony unknowingly irritated Phil Jackson

Coach Phil devised the popular Triangle Offense, which led to Michael Jordan winning six titles and Kobe Bryant winning his five. In that, things like ball movement, floor spacing, and cutting through traffic force defenders in a clueless situation. Now, only a few players knew how to work under such a system and Melo became one of those.

In a recent interview with Matt Barnes, the 37-YO revealed that Phil (as a Knicks President) did not like it that Kobe Bryant had already tutored Melo on the how-to-break-triangle-offense topic. 

As the NBA veteran reminisced, “We would watch film and he would teach me how to break the triangle… like, this is what you got to do. I think he was a little sick that I learnt it before, from Kobe and MJ. I would just sit with them and, Yo! Wassup with this triangle? Phil hated this fact that I figured that out, how to get to my spots, how to get what I really wanted. So he used to always say I was manipulating the offense.”

Nuggets Carmelo Anthony and Lakers Kobe Bryant in Game 4 of the NBA Playoffs at the Pepsi Center in Denver Monday, April 28, 2008. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
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When Phil blamed Melo for the Knicks’ fall

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During Melo’s six years in New York, the Knicks reached the playoffs only twice, and that too during his first two seasons. In fact, they were a 17-65 team in 2014-15 under the failed coachmanship of Derek Fisher. These were also the years when Phil Jackson had taken the reins of the front office as a deserving President.

However, with all the losses, Phil blamed Melo for failing at his leadership and ruining the Knicks for worse. He clearly stated in one of his interviews how Melo would keep the ball in possession for too long and that he would be better off the team. But then there are also some who believe that Phil failed the Knicks. 

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So what do you think, was Phil correct in his anger against Melo? Also, do you think Melo’s knowledge of breaking the triangular offense can help his time with the Lakers? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Sourabh Singh

1616 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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