The National Basketball Players Association president Michele Roberts reached out to commissioner Adam Silver after New York Knicks president Phil Jackson publicly bashed Carmelo Anthony during his exit press conference.
“If players under contract cannot, under threat of league discipline, speak openly about their desire to be employed elsewhere, we expect management to adhere to the same standards,” Roberts said in a statement. “The door swings both ways when it comes to demonstrating loyalty and respect.”
Jackson dished blow after blow to Anthony on Friday, suggesting he intended to explore every avenue to get a trade done this summer. Anthony has two years worth $53 million remaining on his contract with a no-trade clause and a 15 percent trade kicker, each of which Jackson gave him when he signed the All-Star forward to a five-year extension in 2014.
“I think the direction with our team is that he would be better off somewhere else,” Jackson said during the press conference, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley, noting he wants “a significant player” in return for any deals involving Anthony.
The Knicks attempted to deal Anthony twice near the trade deadline, including offers to the Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers. It is unclear if there are any suitors for Anthony’s services or whether teams will meet Jackson’s asking price given the state of the franchise.
Jackson’s latest media session not only rubbed Roberts the wrong way, but also confused Kristaps Porzingis, the 21-year-old talent considered the future of the New York franchise.
Porzingis skipped out on his obligatory end-of-the-season media session after Jackson’s press conference and, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, he was one of many players who left exit interviews with Jackson “perplexed over the contents of the conversations — which included game-show questions.”
Porzingis and his teammates are reportedly irate over the team’s insistence on hammering home more principles of the Triangle Offense this summer.
The Knicks were 14-10 at the beginning of the season when head coach Jeff Hornacek implemented an offense revolving around the high screen-and-roll. New York tailspun as they begun implementing more Triangle sets and eventually finished 31-51, failing to win two consecutive games after Dec. 22.