Latest Update (April 7)
11:30AM: Wizards PG Brandon Jennings described the tension between Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson as one of the "wildiest" situations he has been in during his eight seasons in the NBA. Jennings added that the issues between the two had an effect on the whole team.
"It definitely took a toll, I think, on the team. Because it wasn't even about basketball anymore, it was more about what was going on with Melo," Jennings said to Ian Begley of ESPN.
Jennings said it was "cool" playing with Anthony, but noted that the Knicks veteran leader was under a lot of pressure "dealing with stuff with Phil."
"I think it was just a roller coaster, an emotional roller coaster for him this year with everything he had to deal with, which isn't fair," said Jennings. "For a player to wake up every day and you're hearing trade rumors and you might be gone and this and that. It was like a two-week span where everybody was hitting your phone, (reading reports) about Melo leaving."
There's constantly so much talk about Phil Jackson's goal to build a more positive culture in New York. Winning games often solves most things, but a team can still make strides if they have a vision, positivity, and remain patient. The Knicks couldn't be anymore further away from achieving any of that.
Forget speculating or hearing things from reported sources. Jennings offers a first person prospective from someone who was in the trenches, extremely close to the situation. As he puts it, it's difficult for a team to develop successful ways if there are so many distractions going on.
Anthony's inability to lead his team to the playoffs on a yearly basis (and compete towards something more substantial) should ultimately signal his way out of the Big Apple. His time should be up. But in the interest of moving forward, Jackson should have been working more diligently to deal the star. Holding on to Anthony only appears to prolong the inevitable. As a result, the rest of the players sense a situation that's in complete disarray. There's no vision or a sense or urgency. As Jennings alludes to, such a dark cloud looms over the team in the meantime. It must be difficult for the other players to get motivated or find a respective rhythm knowing things could drastically change at any moment. As Anthony has remained in New York, his teammates have been on edge.
What's more, observing Anthony deal "with stuff with Phil" can't make the players around him want to play for Jackson or be proud of the organization. Obviously Jennings struggled during his time in New York and his overzealous nature probably doesn't make him the poster child for promoting the ideal way an organization should be run. Still, his prospective may make free agents think twice about considering New York while Jackson (and Anthony, for the matter) is in town.
Previous Reports (Mar. 23)
2:30PM: Brandon Jennings, who the Knicks waived on Feb. 27, discussed why he wasn't a fit and explained what went wrong with the team's offensive strategy during his time in New York.
"It was just too much going on behind the scenes that I didn't understand," Jennings said about the triangle, according to the NY Post.
"I think what just happened was they were just going in a different direction," Jennings added. "I wanted to play fast. I didn't really understand the triangle. I think that was my biggest thing. I really didn't understand it. I'm not saying it doesn't work. I just felt like the way the game is being played today, I just felt like you got to score. You got to score. You got to get up shots. When I came to New York, I wanted to put on a show every night. I wanted to put up shots with nice passes and things like that. So I guess it just wasn't the right timing."
Jennings said there was a lack of communication, which led to frustration for the players.
"The thing is, there really wasn't a lot of talking," he said. "It wasn't like, 'This is what we're going to do.' It was just we didn't know what was going on. So it just kind of left itself blank. And I think that's where the frustration built for the team. Because guys didn't know what was going on."
Jennings, 27, averaged 8.6 points and 4.9 assists in 58 games with the Knicks this season.
More on the Knicks and the triangle...