Phil Jackson: Carmelo Anthony 'better off somewhere else'

Jackson says Carmelo would be better off somewhere else (1:19)

Phil Jackson talks about the exit meeting he and Carmelo Anthony shared and the new direction he hopes to take New York. (1:19)

Phil Jackson indicated that the New York Knicks will continue to explore trade options for Carmelo Anthony, saying the All-Star forward "would be better off somewhere else."

Jackson, the Knicks team president, addressed reporters Friday, two days after the team completed its fourth straight losing season. New York went 31-51, falling well short of preseason expectations bolstered by the offseason additions of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.

"We've not been able to win with [Anthony] on the court at this time," Jackson said. "I think the direction with our team is that he's a player that would be better off somewhere else and using his talent somewhere where he can win or chase that championship."

Anthony attended the Jordan Brand Classic in Brooklyn Friday night and declined to comment.

New York has missed the playoffs for four straight seasons and has lost at least 50 games in the past three, all with Jackson as president. In total, the Knicks are 80-166 in Jackson's three full seasons in New York.

Anthony, 32, was the subject of rampant trade speculation throughout the season, prompting the 10-time All-Star to tell Jackson personally at one point that he wanted to remain with the Knicks and would not waive his no-trade clause.

Anthony said Wednesday that he would "love" to return to the Knicks but wanted the team to make a commitment to winning immediately. He has said in the past that if the Knicks presented him with a trade proposal, he would listen.

Sources told ESPN earlier this week that Anthony was "leaning strongly" toward waiving his no-trade clause if the Knicks offered an amenable destination.

Anthony, who is entering the fourth season of a five-year, $124 million contract, met with Jackson on Thursday to discuss his future in traditional player exit meetings. Jackson said Anthony did not express a willingness to leave the Knicks, but Jackson made it clear he thought Anthony should consider accepting a trade to a team on the cusp of winning the title.

"I just said that you haven't won here. You don't want to end up your career not winning," Jackson said. "This is not something that you want to have labeled on your career. You want to get to that territory where you have a chance to win. That's -- we talked around that. But he likes it here. He expressed that."

Jackson said he would be looking for a significant return in any deal and that Anthony relayed to the Knicks some of the teams he would be willing to accept a trade to before the deadline. The Knicks talked to at least three teams about trades involving Anthony, but Jackson said they didn't find a trade that was "rational" for the club to pursue.

He denied that he indirectly criticized Anthony earlier this season when he tweeted a Bleacher Report column that was highly critical of Anthony, though Jackson conceded that the tweet had affected their relationship. Jackson also said Anthony took offense to his assertion that the Knicks star holds the ball too often in a December interview with CBS Sports Network.

"Holding the ball is not a criticism. That's what he does. That's pure fact," Jackson said. "A person better be able to take that if they're going to be coached or else you can't be part of this organization."

Jackson said Rose, who will be a free agent, expressed a desire to return to New York and intimated that the Knicks would consider re-signing him.

"He enjoyed playing here even with the losses, which of course surprises us because he's been on some very successful teams," Jackson said. "But he wants to redeem himself as a player. Which I like that attitude. I like who Derrick represents as himself. He's very direct about taking on a big challenge."

Jackson added that he plans to take a more hands-on, present approach with the Knicks next season. He acknowledged that such an approach could be perceived as meddling with head coach Jeff Hornacek.

"I probably will (be seen as meddling)," he said.

The team president surmised that some of the Knicks' issues this season were a result of a "resistance (to the triangle) and a resistance from the top" which was a reference to Anthony. He also alluded to a chasm between Hornacek and his staff and the players.

"I think there's disconnect sometimes with this team and I think there was some rebelliousness with this team that created some of the discord during the year," Jackson said. "And I think [that] has to stop and that will stop."