Phil Jackson Deliberately Frustrating Carmelo Anthony?

Phil Jackson watched from the 13th row

"[Jackson's] underestimating 'Melo's willingness to stay", a source familiar with Anthony's thinking told The Vertical. This story just won't go away and that's probably what Phil wants.

Earlier this season, Jackson said Anthony tends to hold on to the ball too long to be successful in the triangle offense. All these rumors get a lot of attention, but they all could be moot if Melo doesn't waive his no-trade clause. Last month, Jackson confidant Charley Rosen wrote that Anthony "has outlived his usefulness in New York" in an Internet column.

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

Those are pretty harsh words about Graham, and Jackson is now comparing his former player to Anthony.

Anthony and Jackson met to clear the air, but the situation has since worsened.

The Cavaliers say they have no interest in trading Love.

The Knicks have fallen to a 22-31 record amid a turbulent president-player dialogue. Plus, the Knicks must pay Anthony a $9.5 million bonus if he is traded.

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When the Knicks face the L.A. Clippers - one of the teams that Anthony might consider - Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, Anthony will be left to answer to the slight.

Anthony controls his own destiny holding a no-trade clause.

Winning games would have helped taper some of the trade rhetoric, but the Knicks just haven't been able to string together consecutive wins.

Anthony is still the best player on the roster right now until Porzingis develops - something that Anthony helps with more than any other player on the Knicks - and if he is still here when the deadline passes on February 23 it will be an awkward phase of the relationship.

Keep in mind Anthony has played 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association with career averages of 24.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Even with a 22-31 record, NY still remains just 2.5 games behind Detroit for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Anthony won't waive his no-trade clause without a direct path to a championship - and he certainly won't do so in response to a passive aggressive team president. He has also been linked to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, although it's unclear how serious those conversations have been.

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