On Tuesday, team president Phil Jackson took to Twitter to share some rather inscrutable thoughts that, after a close-reading, appear to be a shot at Carmelo Anthony for not being the sort of victor both former Jackson superstars Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were.
Rather, Jackson seems to be referring to a recent column in Bleacher Report from Kevin Ding ("Bleacher's Ding").
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.
If Anthony is traded, then the Knicks will need to draft a replacement who will fill the long-term void.
Jackson has conducted a thinly-veiled effort to prod Anthony to waive his no-trade clause: an ugly, but perhaps effective offensive. Anthony is a nine-time NBA All-Star and has won three Olympic gold medals. Plus, if Jackson didn't think Anthony was capable of carrying the mantle in NY, he didn't have to re-sign him to a $124 million contract with a no-trade clause attached to it. It's clear somebody must go, and Anthony holds his own chips. After the Knicks' loss to Cleveland, he said the never-ending trade rumors were testing his will.
"They can't want for Anthony what he doesn't want deeply enough for himself", Ding's article concludes. "It's testing me. It's testing my will. It also is making me stronger throughout this process".
It's no secret Jackson is trying to move Anthony before the February 23 trade deadline.
The Cavaliers turned down an Anthony-for-Kevin Love trade, but the defending champs are still interested.
Winning games would have helped taper some of the trade rhetoric, but the Knicks just haven't been able to string together consecutive wins.
The Knicks reportedly have spoken to the Cavaliers, Clippers and Celtics about Anthony.
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. They tried to build a roster of former All-Stars last summer by trading for Derrick Rose and signing Joakim Noah, but it's led them to a 22-31 record through 53 games this season.
Stay tuned to the next installment of As The Knicks Turn.
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.