The trade rumours and speculations about Carmelo Anthony’s future with the New York Knicks can stop for now after the franchise’s newest hire, Phil Jackson declared that indeed he has “no problems with committing to saying Carmelo is in the future plans.”
In his first-ever press conference as the Knicks’ president for basketball operations, Jackson addressed the media and answered questions from the press including the ones about the NY’s star forward.
"There's no doubt about Carmelo being one of the top scorers in the league, maybe the best individual isolation player in the game. I have no problems with committing to saying Carmelo is in the future plans.” said the 68-year-old former NBA head coach and player.
"I think there are a number of things I see Carmelo doing as he moves forward. And I think I was on record saying a year ago that I think Carmelo, as great a player as he is, still has another level he can go to. And I hope together, with the team we create, he can get there."
Jackson is banking on Melo’s versatility as a scorer—his ability to move from the small forward to power forward spots—something that is highly valuable in the Zen Master’s “triangle” system in Chicago and Los Angeles where he won multiple championships.
"[Carmelo] showed in the last Olympics that, coming off the bench and playing a role as a bench player on a magnificent team that won a gold medal, that he can play a role if he has to play a role," Jackson said. "I think he's a basketball player, and that's what players want to be able to do. They want to be able to cut, to pass, to be in different spots on the floor. To attack or to play. I think that Carmelo will be just fine. I see no problem in it.”
Before the official announcement of the hiring of Jackson, Anthony already welcomed the move and that he is willing to adjust his game if the Zen Master demands it.
"I'm a chess player. That was a power move right there. You know what I mean?" Anthony said in an ESPN article on Saturday. "So now we're going to see what's the next move, but that was a great power move."
Jackson has won a total of 13 titles—two as a player and 11 as head coach for the Lakers and the Bulls while Anthony is still looking for his first NBA championship in 10 years in the league.