The Zen Master has found himself on the receiving end of some criticism from the basketball world the last few weeks, after suggesting Carmelo Anthony take less money to stay with the New York Knicks. After all, Phil Jackson did just ink a $12 million deal with the club.
And Tuesday, it was Anthony’s college coach, Jim Boeheim’s turn to take a shot at Jackson. From SiriusXM NBA Radio:
I know [Anthony] wants to be on a team with a chance to win. I know he loves New York, I know now he’s happy there. I think professionally, the way the league is set up, I’m a little surprised about the outcry. It’s set up for players to have an opportunity to find a place to be best for them. Most everybody looks around to try to do that, and I think he’s doing the right thing, and he needs to find the right place. I kinda laugh a little bit when some people talk about him taking less money. I never saw Phil Jackson take less money anywhere. I mean, wait a minute here, what’s that all about? He gives everything he’s got. You guys watch him, I watch him almost every game, when does he not show up to play?
Boeheim told Frank Isola and Stacey King that he does not fault Anthony for considering leaving the Knicks for a better chance at a title.
“I just would like to see him find a good spot where he can win, because in today’s world, the legacy in the NBA is you have to win a championship,” Boeheim said. “I just want Carmelo to have a chance to win. He wants to win. People say all kinds of things about him – ‘He was an unselfish player here’ – he had games in the NCAA Tournament where he scored 10 points and he was running off the court happy and smiling because we won the game. He led a team to a national championship as a freshman with other freshmen and sophomores. He’s won two Olympic gold medals. He’s proven to me and anybody who knows basketball that he’s a team player. With the Knicks, he’s asked to score. I watch him play, I don’t know how many games they’d win if he didn’t score.”
While Boeheim wouldn’t dismiss Anthony returning to the Knicks, he did point out the better options around the league.
“Can he win [in New York] in the next two or three years? That’s his prime, and I don’t know what the answer to that is, and I don’t think he does,” Boeheim said. “It looks like it’s better in Chicago if Rose is healthy, it looks like it might be better in Houston with the players they have.”
For more on Anthony and the NBA free agency period, follow @SiriusXMNBA on Twitter, and tune to SiriusXM NBA Radio, channel 217.