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Carmelo Anthony says he wants input in Knicks’ coaching hire

Carmelo Anthony and interim coach Kurt Rambis of

Carmelo Anthony and interim coach Kurt Rambis of the New York Knicks look on in the second half against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden on Monday, Feb. 22, 2016. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Carmelo Anthony said he can’t be “jealous or envious” of his good friend LeBron James. But there is something that James has other than championship rings that Anthony wants: Input.

Kurt Rambis said on Wednesday that he wants to be a head coach in the NBA and wants the interim tag removed from his title with the Knicks. Anthony said he “would love to have” some say in whom president Phil Jackson picks to coach the team. Anthony also wants input on what players the Knicks pursue this summer. James has that kind of power with the Cavaliers.

“I think you have to have some type of input,” Anthony said on Wednesday. “Whether it’s input or dialogue, whatever word you want to use, I think you have to have that. I think at this point there needs to be some type of connection, some type of communication, especially if we want to right this ship. There definitely needs to be some type of communication.”

According to Anthony, he and Jackson went several weeks this season before talking about the state of the team.

Anthony clearly was frustrated and disappointed in February after the Knicks started freefalling in the standings, leading to Derek Fisher’s firing. They were 22-22 and now are 31-48 with three games remaining. The Knicks play the 76ers in Philadelphia on Friday night.

Anthony’s name came up in trade rumors before the Feb. 18 deadline. He had words with a heckling fan sitting near the Knicks’ bench during a home game. Yet it wasn’t until the second week of March that Jackson and Anthony spoke about the situation during a six-game road trip.

On that trip, Anthony said he wants to be the Knicks’ lead recruiter during free agency and added, “If they give me the right to go out there and talk to people.” A few days later, Anthony said Rambis should be a candidate to coach the Knicks next season but that they also should interview other candidates.

That might not happen, given that Jackson has a great rapport and comfort level with Rambis. Anthony seemed to be lukewarm about Rambis, who is 8-17 since taking over.

“I like Kurt,” Anthony said. “I thought he was kind of thrown into a tough situation with the firing of D-Fish and gathering the troops and getting guys to play and finish the season out. As far as what’s going to happen this summer, this offseason and next year, who’s going to be in that spot, I have no idea. I haven’t had any conversation with anybody about that. I’m pretty sure they’ll address that when the offseason comes.

“I would love to have some type of input when it comes to that. [But] like I said, nobody has had any conversation about that.”

Anthony will have a chance to speak to Jackson next week when the Knicks have their annual season-ending exit meetings.

Anthony hopes to finish the season in a positive way. He dived on the floor for a loose ball in Wednesday’s loss to the Hornets. Anthony said he hopes some players approach the final three games the same way and aren’t looking ahead to vacation.

“I hope they’re giving everything they got,” he said. “I think at this point it’s only natural to at least let that start seeping in. It’s very challenging to have three games left, knowing that you have nothing to look forward to after these next three games.

“Maybe guys are looking ahead to that last game to Indiana and what their plans are going to be after that. These next few days are very challenging as athletes to stay strong and close the season out.”

New York Sports