Steve Popper: Waiting for a real answer from Phil Jackson

Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 26 points

"[Jackson's] underestimating 'Melo's willingness to stay", a source familiar with Anthony's thinking told The Vertical. He probably hoped that this would further crush Anthony's spirit to the point he would want to leave and waive his no-trade clause. Finally responding to a column written by Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding, who is a close Jackson associate, Phil noted that he "learned you don't change a spot on a leopard". Anthony's no trade clause allows him to veto any potentially undesirable destinations, and that makes Jackson's job a lot more hard. No, instead it was the same thing that's dominated the National Basketball Association for the better part of two months: the dumpster fire in NY.

Jackson delivered one of his customary cryptic tweets that suggested he agrees with the premise of a Bleacher Report story that was critical of Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony has a no-trade clause, so he doesn't have to approve a trade anywhere, meaning he and the Knicks would have to work together to find a solution amenable to both parties.

Coming off an embarrassing 121-107 loss at the hands of Western Conference cellar dweller Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, the New York Knicks remain in a state of disarray. The 2011 deal that sent Anthony from the Denver Nuggets to the Big Apple forced the Knicks to ship off Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari and Timofey Mozgov.

Jackson referenced Graham in his memoir, according to The Washingtonian, and noted that he had difficulty reaching him. The true answer may be revealed before Feb 23 when the trade deadline ends, according to the National Basketball Association.

Even if the Cavaliers could acquire Anthony without giving up Love, I do not think they should pursue it. With trade kickers, it can get complicated. Plus, if Jackson didn't think Anthony was capable of carrying the mantle in NY, he didn't have to re-sign him to a $124 million contract with a no-trade clause attached to it. "It's testing me", Anthony said. He said during a December interview on CBS Sports Network's We Need To Talk (h/t James Herbert of CBS Sports) Anthony could play the role Jordan and Bryant did, but he has a "tendency to hold the ball for three, four, five seconds, then everybody comes to a stop".

Jackson, who has refused requests to speak to the NY media since holding court on September 23, took to Twitter shortly after Tuesday's practice ended and sent out another cryptic missive directed at Carmelo Anthony. Jackson, for reasons only he can explain, and the Knicks' president haven't spoken directly to the press in months, and Jackson has undermined any chance the team had of being a playoff contender-forget competing for a championship.

So last summer, Jackson very almost started from scratch, with cornerstones Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis anchoring a mostly new roster that included five new pieces in the front court and just as many in the backcourt at the start of this season.

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