Usually when a marquee player is up for free agent, team officials do their best to stay on an athletes best sides, hoping they’ll be reluctant enough to return to the organization. According to Adrian Wojnarowski’s latest report on Carmelo Anthony’s free agency, Phil Jackson asking him to take a pay cut did the opposite:
After Friday’s meeting with Knicks president Phil Jackson and coach Derek Fisher, sources told Yahoo Sports that Anthony had become more comfortable with Jackson’s plan to use him as the cornerstone to lure free agent stars into salary cap space in 2015 and ’16. One thing that still bothers Anthony is Jackson had wanted him to take less than a max contract, sources told Yahoo Sports.
On the outside looking in, you can see why Anthony would be a bit bothered by Jackson asking him to take a cut, especially when Jackson will be paid nearly $10 million a year just to oversee basketball operations. But the closer you look at the situation, Anthony’s complaining is a bit egregious.
As most of you may remember, Anthony himself once stated he’d take a pay cut in order for the Knicks to improve his supporting cast.
“Any opportunity I have to build that up in New York, I’d do it,” said Anthony during the All-Star break in New Orleans. “I told people all the time, always say, ‘If it takes me taking a pay cut, I’ll be the first one on [Knicks owner] Mr. [James] Dolan’s steps saying take my money and let’s build something strong over here.”
It’s hard to feel sympathetic for Anthony being asked to take a pay cut when he himself said he’d do it. Is Jackson in the wrong? Sure, as the conversation should’ve never been leaked to the public in hopes of pressuring Anthony into taking less, but as team president, Jackson’s just hoping Anthony lives up to those statements in February.
We’ll see if Anthony is a man of his words as Anthony is expected to make his decision in the next 24 hours.