Phil Jackson Sends A Subliminal Message To Carmelo


The rocky relationship between Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony, just got even more interesting thanks to a tweet by the Zen Master.

Before we get into Jackson’s mystique and random tweet, lets first take a look at what sparked the tweet.  Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, gave his perspective on the relationship between Anthony and Jackson, and what caused their fall out.

Ding wrote: “Jackson undoubtedly overestimated his own ability—perhaps you’ve heard something lately about the no-trade clause he gifted to Melo in 2014—to kindle Anthony’s evolution from superstar to winning superstar.”

“Anthony is a likable person who just happens to be nothing near Jordan or Bryant in will to win. No, Jackson never thought Anthony had that fire, but he thought he could balance Anthony’s ball dominance by teaching teamwork and converting talent into a clear net positive.”

Jackson then tweeted this earlier today:

It’s not certain what Jackson really meant by his tweet, but we can dissect it and try to make sense of it.

Jackson is agreeing with Ding on his analysis of Anthony, basically saying that he (Jackson) can’t change Anthony.  In terms of the Michael Graham analogy, Alan Siegel of Washingtonian broke it down for us to understand quite clear.

“On New Year’s Eve 1986, Graham and his coach, Phil Jackson, got into it in the middle of a game. A few days later, the Patroons axed him after only 11 games.

Jackson, who went on to lead the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers to a combined 11 championships, is considered by many to have been the best coach in NBA history. But even as he used his memoir to describe leading the likes of Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman, he still devoted space to Graham, the star he’d failed to mold back in the minors.

“Nothing I said made any difference,” Jackson wrote. “Whenever I tried to talk to him, his eyes would glaze over and he’d retreat to some dark inner corner nobody could penetrate.”

The coach described pulling off the highway the night he let Graham go and starting to cry at the thought that he might have ended the player’s promising career: “Here was a kid who was born to play basketball, someone who had enough talent to be a star in the NBA, and yet despite all my sophisticated psychology, I couldn’t reach him.”

To sum up the tweet, Jackson is in a similar situation with Anthony, as he was with Graham.  Anthony who is a great player, but can’t get out of his own ways or be reached by Jackson.  The only option left for Jackson to do is trade Carmelo Anthony.

About Aaron Davis

Aaron is a staff writer and the Co-Founder of NBALEAD. He has been following the NBA for over 15 years. Graduated from Purdue University.

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