While the drama between Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony has caused the Knicks to look for a trade for their star player, superfan and legendary director Spike Lee made it very clear which of the two he would rather have stay in New York.
"I'll pack Phil's bags for him," Lee told ESPN.
The latest Jackson-Anthony tension stems from a tweet Jackson sent on Tuesday that referenced a Bleacher Report article that was critical of Anthony.
"I think I still believe in Carmelo, but Phil Jackson is making it very difficult for him," Lee said.
Anthony's poor record over the course of his time in New York speaks for itself. He's failed to accomplish what both he and the fan base crave for this franchise: success, respect, and a legitimate chance at competing. Jackson gave him the best chance he's had at finding such success prior to the start of this season. The team is built with talented veterans, a budding star in Kristaps Porzingis, and seemingly enough depth, too. Factor in the new (and refreshing) voice Jeff Hornacek provides with a solid offensive philosophy, and Anthony's Knicks should have been well on their way.
Unfortunately, that has not happened. Not much has gone according to plan this season. Anthony has had his time to shine in New York and was not able to take advantage. It's run its course following an extended window of opportunity from Jackson. However, the decision Jackson made to extend that very window is coming back to bite him in the butt. Instead of looking to deal Anthony last summer and starting fresh, Jackson committed to veterans like Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, and Lance Thomas with sizable, lengthy contracts. These may be difficult to move, which makes any rebuild following a potential Anthony departure difficult to successfully spearhead.
As such, Jackson is feeling the pressure and the consequences of his actions. This is where Spike Lee hits the nail on the head: the President is making the worst out of an already unfortunate situation. He's making things very difficult on his team's star. All the while, the players and coaches around him are feeling the negative vibes. This makes the campaign very difficult to salvage. The noise has created a distraction challenging to climb back from.
Jackson hasn't publicly addressed his team's struggles with local media since September. The fan base deserves to hear some sort of State of the Union. Paired with the Charles Oakley hoopla from Monday night's game, the drama surrounding Jackson's latest tweet truly overshadowed the Knicks' play, which actually wasn't bad against the Clippers.
Given Jackson's actions, it was hard to tell.