Phil Jackson went full-on attack mode on Carmelo Anthony last Friday but his remarks did not fall on deaf ears. The NBA Players Association ripped the multi-titled head coach for what they feel a slew of ‘inappropriate’ comments towards Carmelo Anthony.
In a statement released Saturday night, union director Michele Roberts said she has reported Jackson to NBA commissioner Adam Silver for those unseemly words.
“We voiced with the Commissioner today our view on the inappropriate comments by Knicks President Phil Jackson,’’ Roberts stated. “If players under contract cannot, under threat of league discipline, speak openly about their desire to be employed elsewhere, we expect management to adhere to the same standards. The door swings both ways when it comes to demonstrating loyalty and respect.’’
Anthony, too, seemed taken aback by the boldness of Jackson’s statements, issuing an Instagram post with the word “Really,” two crying emojis and a photo of Leonardo DiCaprio from “The Great Gatsby.”
Anthony’s post was liked by Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, Willy Hernangomez of the Knicks and NBA stars Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.
Union officials were aghast at Jackson’s strong language, more than anything. A handful of players have been fined for public trade demands. One Knicks example occurred when Nate Robinson’s agent spoke out and Robinson got fined.
“It’s offensive and unabashed,’’ one union official said. “How does Adam sit there and not see it?”
For his part, Anthony said after Wednesday’s finale he would “love’’ to stay, but he would be “open’’ if Jackson communicated with him a desire to move on. Apparently, Jackson went too far in his public statements in Friday’s press conference, which broke a seven-month silence with local media.
“We have not been able to win with him on the court at this time,’’ Jackson said Friday. “I think the direction with our team is he’s a player who will be better off somewhere else and using his talents somewhere where he can win or chase that championships.’’
Jackson revealed Anthony’s advisors indicated to him last February a small handful of teams for which he would be “amenable’’ to waiving his no-trade clause.