New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) is defended by...

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) is defended by Atlanta Hawks forward Kent Bazemore (24) in the first half of an NBA basketball game between the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, in Atlanta. Credit: AP / Todd Kirkland

NEW ORLEANS — Carmelo Anthony joked that Phil Jackson’s chances of returning to the Lakers took a major hit when he and Jeannie Buss ended their engagement.

“That put an end to that, didn’t it?” Anthony said with a laugh.

Jackson and Buss, the Lakers’ co-owner, announced on Twitter Monday night that their nearly four-year engagement was off.

There has been speculation that as long as the couple was together that Jackson, the former Lakers’ coach, would return to Los Angeles either this summer when he can opt out of his five-year contract or when his deal is up in two years.

“I never viewed it as that or like that,” Anthony said.

As soon as they announced they split up, the conjecture quickly became that Jackson wouldn’t re-join the Lakers. But Jackson has said he plans to honor his contract as Knicks president.

When the break-up was first mentioned, Anthony cut off the question, and said. “Did I have anything to do with that? Yeah, I was angry.” Anthony laughed some more.

Anthony, however, didn’t want to address the latest remarks from his former coach George Karl, who took numerous shots at Anthony in his new book “Furious George.” Karl told New York Magazine that Anthony cared about his brand too much.

“Obviously, he do, too,” Anthony said. “Stop. Please, stop.”


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