NEW YORK -- Carmelo Anthony was visibly annoyed when asked about Phil Jackson's assertion that he tends to hold on to the ball too long.
Anthony, who is normally affable with the media, maintained a smile but began to walk away from reporters when asked about Jackson's comments before stopping and continuing with questions. He then responded to a query about the timing of the Knicks president's remarks and whether they were productive.
"I don't even know what was said, to be honest with you. I just don't even want to talk about that, what he's talking about exactly. I want to stay away from that at this point," Anthony said. "My focus is my teammates and winning. We've been playing great basketball, and that's the only thing I'm focused on. Whatever Phil said, he said it. I have nothing to say about that."
In an interview with CBS Sports Network that aired Tuesday, Jackson said Anthony can play the "role that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant played" in their teams' triangle offenses, but he believes Anthony sometimes breaks a team rule by holding on to the ball too long.
"Carmelo a lot of times wants to hold the ball longer than -- we have a rule: If you hold a pass two seconds, you benefit the defense. So he has a little bit of a tendency to hold it for three, four, five seconds, and then everybody comes to a stop," Jackson said. "That is one of the things we work with. But he's adjusted to [the triangle], he knows what he can do, and he's willing to see its success."
Jackson's comments were prompted by a question about whether Anthony can fit in the triangle offense. Jackson made it clear he believes that Anthony can.
"He can play that role that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant played," Jackson said. "It's a perfect spot for him to be in that isolated position on the weak side, because it's an overload offense and there's a weakside man that always has an advantage if the ball is swung."
Jackson's comments about Anthony's tendency to hold on to the ball too long at times have been echoed by others around the NBA. But the president's assessment came as the Knicks had won three straight games and were hours away from winning a fourth straight against the Miami Heat.
Anthony had 35 points to lead the Knicks in the win at Miami on Tuesday.
Coach Jeff Hornacek, stuck in the awkward position between disagreeing with his boss or critiquing his star forward, chose a middle ground when asked about Jackson's comments.
"Yeah, I think there's probably times that happens. But then there's other times when he does what he did last night and just carries us," Hornacek said Wednesday. "It's a fine balance. He's a star player who can really create his own shot from that midrange area. Sometimes we talk about maybe moving the ball and holding it, maybe it's a second or two too long for a normal guy, but for Carmelo, it's fine, because he can make that play.
"We just have to make sure the other guys understand they still should cut, and Carmelo, when we keep going to him at those spots, he'll make passes out of there. That's when we'll become really good. He did it last night. They tried to double him once, and he just threw it right, I think, to Courtney [Lee] for a wide-open 3. He's willing to pass that ball if they come double him. Teams force 4-on-3 opportunities with pick-and-rolls. We just do it with Carmelo."