Phil Jackson broke his silence Tuesday — on Twitter — where the Knicks president appeared to take a shot at Carmelo Anthony.
Jackson delivered one of his customary cryptic tweets that suggested he agrees with the premise of a Bleacher Report story that was critical of Carmelo Anthony.
In the story posted Tuesday, Kevin Ding wrote that Anthony has not been able to transform himself into a winning player and has resisted Jeff Hornacek’s attempts at playing team ball. It is part of the reason why Jackson is trying to trade the Knicks best player.
“Bleacher’s Ding almost rings the bell,” Jackson tweeted, “but I learned you don’t change the spot on a leopard with Michael Graham in my CBA daze.”
Graham was a talented power forward on Georgetown’s 1984 NCAA championship team alongside Patrick Ewing. Graham was later drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics but never made it to the NBA. Jackson coached him with the Albany Patroons in the CBA. He and Jackson got into an argument in 1986, and Graham was waived a few days later.
This was Jackson’s first tweet since Dec. 27 when Jackson announced he and his former fiancé Jeannie Buss had split up. Jackson hasn’t spoken to reporters covering the team since Sept. 23.
It’s no secret Jackson is trying to move Anthony before the Feb. 23 trade deadline. Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract and has been reluctant to waive it. But it appears Jackson is trying to make Anthony feel unwanted to get him to waive the no-trade if the Knicks can strike a deal.
The Knicks are 22-31 and could miss the playoffs for the fourth straight year. Under Jackson’s watch the Knicks are 75 games below .500.
Jackson publicly criticized Anthony as a ball stopper in December in an interview with CBS Sports Network. Last month, Jackson confidant Charley Rosen wrote that Anthony “has outlived his usefulness in New York” in an Internet column. Anthony believed that was Jackson’s opinion.
The Knicks reportedly have spoken to the Cavaliers, Clippers and Celtics about Anthony. If he’s dealt to Cleveland or Los Angeles it likely would require a third team. The Cavaliers don’t want to trade Kevin Love, and the Clippers are unlikely to part with any of their top players for Anthony.