Carmelo Anthony Understands Why Phil Jackson Has Been Missing from Knicks Games

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2014

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: President Phil Jackson watches the game between the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 19, 2014.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE  (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The New York Knicks have played better basketball since the organization hired Phil Jackson to be their new president of basketball operations.

Their record on the season is 32-43, and a much better 5-3 under Jackson. Well, with Jackson. It's pretty hard to argue he's had anything to do with the improved play.

His job involves personnel decisions, and he didn't assemble this roster. And his presence at games hasn't done much either. Mostly because he just hasn't been at many. In fact, Jackson's only watched two of the eight games New York has played since he was hired.

While some might see that as a sign he's detached, the Knicks' biggest star—Carmelo Anthony—doesn't seem to be too worried about it.

According to Newsday's Al Iannazzone, Anthony shared his thoughts on the situation after New York beat the Utah Jazz on Monday:

Right now it's about us. I don't think it's about anything he's going to do or change right now. It's about what we do on the basketball court.

He's smart. He knows what he's doing. He's been in this situation before with fighting for spots and trying to win basketball games. So he knows what to expect, and now he's on the outside looking in. I guess he's giving us our space. We're not really concerned about that.

Iannazzone added, "There's also been speculation that he's keeping a low profile to avoid being a distraction." Again, that's something Melo's not sweating:

I don't think he's a distraction. But right now it's about us. I don't think it's about anything he's going to do or change right now. It's about what we do on the basketball court.

Jackson won't be changing anything right now, mostly because he can't.

It's too late to sign a free agent who'd be allowed to play in the postseason, we're well beyond the trade deadline and firing Mike Woodson with less than a month left in the regular season wouldn't accomplish much.

So Jackson seeming detached is largely a product of his being hired so late in the season.

And even if he still doesn't attend many games next year—Iannazzone cited "some health issues"—you can be sure he'll make an impact on this team before long.

He's already won titles as a player and coach. Over the next few years, we'll get to see if his zen works in the front office as well.


Andy Bailey covers the NBA for Bleacher Report.