Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

'Melo Major Worry for Phil

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

'Melo Major Worry for Phil

Article excerpt

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Phil Jackson's first two months as president of the Knicks haven't gone exactly as planned. His preferred choice of coaches, Steve Kerr, opted to head to Golden State rather than Madison Square Garden. He still has no coach, no draft picks and the real uncertainty - no star player cemented onto next year's roster.

Carmelo Anthony has met with Jackson in New York, spoken repeatedly to him on the phone, and dutifully listened to Jackson's pitch for a reason to stay. But Anthony, who has maintained since the start of the season that he would opt out and allow himself to be courted by potential suitors, has politely listened and committed to nothing.

Anthony has not closed a door on any option this season, insisting he would like to remain in New York, but wants to win. He told Jackson he would think about it. But Anthony has been careful to keep every possibility alive, from staying to leaving to accepting less money to aid a winning situation (or to find a new one).

Jackson maintained that he, too, will keep all of the possibilities open - even if it doesn't exactly fit into the plans he has for the team.

"I'm not losing sleep over it but I'm definitely concerned about the idea of a guy going into free agency," Jackson said. "It only takes one bidder out there that has the ability and can ruin your hopes and your chances. We will survive it. That's what I've said and we'll go forward.

"But this is a guy, we recognize his talent and his skill."

It is that same skill set that likely will make Anthony appealing to the likes of the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and even the Los Angeles Lakers now that Mike D'Antoni has departed.

Jackson did inform Anthony that Kerr would be the coach in part of his initial sales pitch - a point he had to back off and explain away. …

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