Carmelo Anthony’s stint with the New York Knicks was a roller coaster. On one hand, he led the team to three playoff appearances, including a trip to the Conference Semifinals in 2013. On the other hand, he never really got along with Knicks president Phil Jackson. According to Anthony, the root of their feud was related to Melo’s friendship with Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.
The man who knew too much
Though their feud was heavily publicized, Anthony revealed that he didn’t have many face-to-face encounters with Jackson. In fact, whenever they talked, it was all about basketball — particularly the triangle offense. Anthony, a diligent student of the game, already knew the offense at an intricate level due to conversations with Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. And this pissed off Jackson.
“Me and Phil probably had three conversations, man. When we talk, we would sit in the office, lights out, couple of candles. We would watch film. And he would teach me how to break the triangle. So I learned it. But I think he was a little sick that I learned it before from Kobe from MJ. You know I used to sit with them and ask them, ‘what’s up with this triangle?’ I feel Phil hated that I figured it out on how to get to my spots, how to get what I really wanted out of that. So he used to always say I was manipulating the offense. He wasn’t flying with that,” Anthony said, per ALL THE SMOKE.
Melo got close with the late Kobe Bryant during their stint with the national team. Bryant admitted that among all the stars in that squad, it was Melo whom he got really close with. As for Jordan, Melo has been with MJ’s brand since his rookie year. So he basically has a direct line to the GOAT.
Clash of egos
From the looks of it, the Jackson-Anthony feud was a classic clash of egos. It’s a familiar narrative in the NBA. Kobe-Shaq fell out because of the same reasons. We can say the same for the Boston Celtics Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen. The same story applies to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant’s departure from Cleveland and Golden State, respectively.
It shows how complicated it is to win in the NBA. As Draymond Green once said, everything has to be in order — the players, the coaches, the front office, and the other people in the background must be in sync. Having one common goal seems simple enough. But alas, humans have egos (some bigger than they could handle) which, in one way or another, either lead them to monumental success or epic failure.