Phil Jackson takes to Twitter again, says his Carmelo tweet was 'misunderstood'

Posted February 10, 2017

New York Knicks' president Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony's relationship has been frosty to say the least.

With the Knicks slumping and falling out of the Eastern Conference playoff race, Jackson reportedly is shopping Anthony ahead of the NBA's February 23 trade deadline.

"Bleacher's Ding nearly rings the bell", Jackson wrote on Twitter, "but I learned you don't change the spot on a leopard with Michael Graham in my CBA daze".

Trade rumors have swirled for weeks around the Knicks dealing Anthony, who has a no-trade clause.

Despite the Zen Master's criticism, Carmelo has remained professional and has not voiced his displeasure with the repeated attempts to assassinate his character or be bullied out of NY.

Jackson issued a more-than-questionable tweet on Tuesday in reference to Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding, praising Ding's critical piece on Anthony's evolution as a pure victor. Carmelo Anthony, finishing with 17 points on a highly inefficient 6-20 line from the field, was brought to NY as the franchise savior but was now its biggest scapegoat.

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Jackson was referring (in Tuesday's tweet) to a journeyman player, Michael Graham, whom he coached in the Continental Basketball Association.

Trade rumors could intensify Wednesday with the Los Angeles Clippers visiting NY.

Anthony and Knicks front office have not been on the best terms lately. Jackson defended himself with his tweet, but did not defend Anthony.

Anthony largely shrugged off Jackson's latest barbs after the Knicks' loss to the Clippers, saying he didn't care to ask Jackson's motivation and was focused on trying to win games.

Boston's shown minimal interest in Anthony, preferring to continue its pursuit of persuading Chicago (Jimmy Butler) and Indiana (Paul George) to engage in trade talks that involve two younger, more well-rounded stars. The true answer may be revealed before Feb 23 when the trade deadline ends, according to the National Basketball Association. The Los Angeles Lakers were in the mix, but sources close to Anthony at the time said they were not as high on the list as Chicago, the perceived frontrunner. 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". They tried to build a roster of former All-Stars last summer by trading for Derrick Rose and signing Joakim Noah, but it's led them to a 22-31 record through 53 games this season. He has not spoken to Knicks beat reporters since September. Carmelo Anthony led NY with 28 points, and Kristaps Porzingis contributed 27 to bust out of his recent slump.

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