Phil Jackson Hopes Carmelo Anthony is Willing to Take Less Money

by April 23, 2014

In a press conference Wednesday morning, New York Knicks team president addressed Steve Kerr’s candidacy for the vacant coaching position, his relationship with James Dolan, and Carmelo Anthony’s impending free agency. The Zen Master also re-iterated that he has no desire, nor the physical ability, to coach the Knicks. Per the AP and Newsday:

“Jeanie Buss was here with the Board of Governors last week and stayed through the weekend, and tried to encourage me to coach the team. And if there’s anyone that can encourage me to do anything, it’s Jeanie Buss. But I was able to withstand her arguments the whole time,” Jackson said at the Knicks’ training center.

“New York, I think, demands a personality, a person that the fans can believe in, a person that has some confidence, has the charismatic appeal, and I think has a forward-looking idea about the game,” Jackson said.

He believes Kerr, who played for him in Chicago and served as general manager of the Phoenix Suns, could be that person. He discussed Kerr’s potential interest in coaching last year when a group was trying to buy the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle. Jackson was prepared to run their basketball operations if that happened.

“I know philosophically we have a strong connection. Whether he’s able to take a job like this, I don’t know,” Jackson said. “I will get in a conversation with him later on this month and talk to him about and see where he’s at as far as his desire to coach.”

Jackson said he had other candidates in mind, but said: “You don’t want to know their names. I don’t want you to have their names.”

When asked about the status of star forward Carmelo Anthony, who will opt out of the final year of his contract to become a free agent, Jackson said he hopes Anthony sticks with what he has said in the past about willing to take less money to help give the team more flexibility.

“If it’s in the cards, man, are we fortunate,” Jackson said. “If it’s not in the cards, man, are we fortunate and we’re going forward anyway.”