There’s been a battle between Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson with most people citing that one of them has to go as they both can’t coexist on the New York Knicks. The team hasn’t lived up to expectations and blame has bounced back and forth between the two. Scottie Pippen, who played under Jackson with the Bulls, won six NBA championships and made seven All-Star teams, places the blame on his former coach and expressed sympathy for Anthony.
“To be honest with you, I’m gonna have to go at my old coach Phil Jackson,” said Pippen when asked who’s to blame for the Knicks recent failures.
“I just think he hasn’t put the right pieces on the floor. I give a lot of credit to Carmelo, who has been very professional in getting through this 82-game season, and now he’s being benched to some degree, they’ve taken a lot of his minutes away.”
“But this team really just hasn’t had it,” Pippen added. “They haven’t had it since Phil Jackson landed there.”
“There has not been any upside to think that the New York Knicks were gonna be a contender, and I just feel bad for Carmelo having to go through this and having to deal with it, but he got a great contract, so …” Pippen said amid laughter from his panelists, adding, “I’m sure the fans will love to see Carmelo in New York and Phil out.”
Asked if Jackson should be pushed out his job, Pippen replied, “Yes.”
Jackson was hired as the Knicks president in March 2014. They have not gotten to the playoffs during his tenure, finishing an Eastern Conference-worst 17-65 in his first season and 32-50 the next. There was a lot of excitement over the pickups for this season, but the Knicks are currently 28-47 with seven games left.
Last month, Knicks owner James Dolan has said he will “honor my agreement” and let Jackson finish out his five-year contract. Anthony has two years left on his contract as well, which contains a no-trade clause.