The Knicks have been a mess of late and a lot of that starts with Phil Jackson. Jackson was once considered the top coach in the game but has led the Knicks to some dismal seasons in a front office role. The latest fiasco put young star Kristaps Porzingis on the trade block ahead of Thursday night’s NBA Draft. Former Knicks’ player Kenyon Martin joined Gio and Jones to talk if he is surprised about Jackson’s shortcomings in free agency and drafting.
“Not at all, man,” he answered. “My stints I had with the Knicks were before Phil Jackson came in so I saw what the team needed to have to have success and, since Phil has been there, he hasn’t done that. He hasn’t come close to that. The things that make you a good coach don’t necessarily make you a good GM or president. The things that make you a good player doesn’t mean it’s going to translate into you being a good coach. I think people look at the job Phil did as a head coach and thought that would translate to front good office moves and it hasn’t. You take situations, not just before the draft, but situations like Joakim Noah where he brought him in. That’s just one of those situations where you just look at Phil’s track record, that’s what people look. It ain’t just this draft, it’s this draft and Phil.”
Porzingis isn’t the only player who has been alienated by Jackson. Carmelo Anthony has obviously been a star in New York for some time now but has been growing restless with the performance of the team and the treatment by Jackson. Jackson has called out Anthony on several occasions and even expressed interest in trading him. It’s assumed Anthony is interested in leaving too. Martin played with Anthony in Denver for a number of years and weighed in on why he believes Anthony is still playing at Madison Square Garden.
“I don’t think he wants to give in to Phil Jackson, I think that has a lot to do with it,” he said. “I’ve been the one saying it’s time for Melo to speak up for himself and not let Phil keep dictating the situations and the narratives and let people think things that are not true about himself. He has a no trade clause and I would dictate the trade to Phil. I would come to Phil with a team or two and say this is the team, this is what we have, take it or leave it. If you decide to leave it, you have to deal with me. That’s how I would handle it if I was Carmelo and we’ll see how it goes this season.”