Why Would Phil Jackson Jeopardize His Legacy to Coach Carmelo Anthony?

The Knicks are on the brink of playoff elimination – again. Their 87-70 defeat against the Heat was New York’s 13th straight playoff defeat (an NBA record for futility!) and dropped them into an 0-3 hole which they have zero chance of coming out of.

Carmelo Anthony was awful again, shooting 7-for-23 with five turnovers. For the series, he’s shooting a grotesque 34 percent and has 12 turnovers vs. six assists. Some people will defend him by saying, “he didn’t have Jeremy Lin.” Others might say, “Amare missed game three.” The Knicks were missing two starters!

Just stop it, please. He doesn’t make his teammates better (never has), he’s a ball-stopper, and here’s his wretched playoff history:

1-3 (vs. Minnesota; he missed the series clinching loss)
1-4 (vs. Spurs)
1-4 (vs. Clippers)
1-4 (vs. Spurs)
0-4 (vs. Lakers)
10-6 (beat New Orleans, Dallas, lost to the Lakers)
2-4 (vs. Utah)
0-4 (vs. Boston)
0-3 (vs Miami)

Career playoff record: 16-36. He’s gotten out of the first round once in nine tries. As many folks noted on twitter following the game three loss, Melo appears to be the new Tracy McGrady.

At this point in Melo’s career – he turns 28 this month – the question has to be asked: Can you build a team around him? If the answer is yes, then sure, perhaps Phil Jackson can name his price and be the next Knicks head coach. If the answer is no – which I suspect it is – then why would Phil Jackson ruin his legacy as the second greatest coach in NBA history to coach the Knicks?

Jackson had Jordan. He had Shaq. He had Kobe. Elite, Hall of Fame talents. He’s not delusional enough to think he can succeed in the East against the Bulls and Heat over the new three years, is he?

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