Sports NBA analyst and insider Chris Broussard brought the heat — and he aimed it squarely at New York Knicks president Phil Jackson for his handling of Carmelo Anthony.
Which side are you on, Team Melo or Team Phil?
CHRIS: “I am definitely on the side of Carmelo Anthony. Phil Jackson, he’s always been viewed as professorial. Almost like a savant, you know, his book Sacred Hoops, and giving players books about other topics during the season, and meditating in practice, ‘The Zen Master.’
“It was almost like he was above sports, like he was that mature. And now we’re seeing him in a whole different light. And I actually think he is sullying his legacy a bit. He’s never going to ruin the 11 rings that he won, but he is doing some damage to his legacy, because he’s acting crazy. I think he’s embarrassing himself, because he’s a 71-year-old man, quite honestly, who’s acting like a child.”
Chris: Phil Jackson needs to own his mistakes
CHRIS: “If one of my daughters was acting this way, I’d punish them. I mean, seriously, because he is not handling this like a man. Why in the world would you try to embarrass your best player, who by the way has a no-trade clause, okay? So you can’t just get rid of him.
“It appears that he has gone to the press, Charley Rosen initially, Kevin Ding from Bleacher Report, who wrote a really strong piece against Carmelo Anthony. Both of them look like they came right from Phil Jackson’s mouth. …
“Even if they didn’t, you still supported it with a tweet after the article came out. So even if you didn’t feed that info to Ding, you still associated yourself with what he was saying, which was very negative about Carmelo, saying he’s not a winner.
“And then in your tweet, you say you learned your lesson that you can’t change a player. You reference Michael Graham in the 1980s, who you coached. Well, if you learned your lesson in the 1980s, why in the world did you sign Carmelo Anthony in the first place? If you knew he wasn’t a winner?
“Did he put a gun to your head and say, ‘Give me the $124 million’? No. Did he put a gun to your head and say, ‘Give me the no-trade clause’? No. You did that. Those are your mistakes, if that’s how you view them.”
Chris: Melo doesn’t deserve this from Phil or anyone
CHRIS: “So why throw Carmelo Anthony under the bus? Carmelo Anthony does not deserve this. He has been the most mature person in the entire Knicks organization throughout this whole ordeal. Can you imagine having to go out there and having to play, or perform at any job, when you know your bosses want to get rid of you?
“And he’s still going out there and playing good basketball, still putting on the professional face, when after every game, and every practice, he has to face the media and answer these questions.
“And Phil Jackson is running from the media. Has not spoken to the New York media since September. And he’s speaking to different members of the national media in the background, in the weeds, having them plant this stuff, apparently. It appears that way.”
Chris: Jackson’s mistakes will spell trouble for the Knicks in the future
CHRIS: “So those are not the actions of a 71-year-old man, who’s supposed to be mature. Those are not the actions of a president of an organization who’s getting paid $12 million a year. And it’s not helping you with free agents in the future. Don’t think other stars who like Carmelo Anthony — or maybe even don’t know Carmelo Anthony personally — are looking at this situation and saying, ‘Man, is that how he’s going to treat his best player?’ Is that how you treat a guy that’s going to be a future Hall of Famer?
“Heck, maybe Kristaps Porzingis is looking at this and saying, ‘If they can do that to Carmelo Anthony, whose career I can only hope to have, would they do that to me?'”
Chris: Jackson’s sabotaging himself, too
CHRIS: “I mean, this is incredibly damaging on all fronts, finally, because you obviously want to trade Carmelo. You think this is helping? You think having him known as a guy that’s not a winner, and then you co-signing an article that says that, you think that’s going to help you get Kevin Love? Or you think that’s going to help you get somebody from the Clippers that can help your team? No.
“So it makes no sense in any way, shape or form, and he’s obviously trying to force Carmelo Anthony to take away his no-trade clause and say, ‘Enough of this, I’m leaving.’ I actually think this may make Carmelo Anthony dig in even deeper and say, ‘You ain’t running me out of New York. I love it here, I came here to try to win, and that’s what I’m going to do.'”
Chris: Come on, Phil.
CHRIS: “So I’m with Melo. … I hate immaturity, especially when you’re seven decades old. Come on, man.”