Spike Lee has chosen not to hate the player in the apparent feud among New York Knicks powers.
The film director/Knicks superfan has backed Carmelo Anthony over Phil Jackson the ongoing drama between the team’s star player and president of basketball operations. Lee told ESPN’s Steve Zeng on Wednesday he’d prefer Jackson leave the organization than Anthony.
“I’ll pack Phil’s bags for him,” Lee told Zeng, according to ESPN’s Ian Begly. “I think I still believe in Carmelo, but Phil Jackson is making it very difficult for him.”
With the Knicks slumping and falling out of the Eastern Conference playoff race, Jackson reportedly is shopping Anthony ahead of the NBA’s Feb. 23 trade deadline. Jackson also apparently has criticized Anthony cryptically via Twitter and through an article written by a longtime confidant.
Rumors have linked Anthony to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics, among other teams. Some reports claim the All-Star forward wants to remain in New York, while others say he’s open to leaving the Big Apple.
The off-court drama might be causing friction inside the dressing room. It’s almost certainly dividing opinions among Knicks fans, some of whom have recently booed Anthony.
Anthony’s contract contains a no-trade clause, which he’d have to waive in order for the Knicks to move him. Otherwise, he could stay with the team through the 2018-19 season when his contract expires.
Jackson’s contract also expires in 2019, but he can opt out after this season.
The story likely will take more twists before it reaches its end point. By then, Lee should have more than enough material to make a hit movie out of the saga of his beloved Knicks.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images