NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 12:48 AM
Carmelo Anthony intently listens to interim coach Kurt Rambis on Tuesday after admitting he was surprised Derek Fisher was fired.
The Knicks under Kurt Rambis looked a lot like they did under Derek Fisher. That is to say, they were losers.
At least Carmelo Anthony is still willing to go down with the ship.
On a day when Phil Jackson sent out a long-winded philosophical lesson to “pundits” that doubled as a plug for his book, the Knicks lost for the 10th time in 11 games, 111-108, to the Wizards on Tuesday night at the Garden because John Wall erupted for 28 points and 17 assists.
It was a familiar sequence of concerning events for the Knicks: They fell behind early, stormed back, and then missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer. This time it was Langston Galloway, not previous culprits Anthony or Arron Afflalo, with the clean look that bounced off the rim.
The Knicks (23-32), who are talking more about their playoff aspirations as the possibility slips away, head into the All-Star break on a six-game losing streak. They’re also a season-worst nine games under-.500.
Langston Galloway agonizes over missing a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.
While Phil Jackson said there’s a “slim possibility” that he’ll make a move by the trade deadline next week, the big reboot of trying to deal Anthony is always a hovering option. Anthony, though, has a full no-trade clause in his contract and said he feels an obligation to see this mess through after yet another coaching change.
“This was something I didn’t see coming. Nobody saw coming. So you have to continue to put your trust in Phil,” Anthony said after scoring a game-high 33 points in 39 minutes the day after Derek Fisher was fired. “At this point what could you do? Can’t shy away from that. Can’t go against it. So for me, I have to trust in him. I decided to stay here. I decided to make that decision to trust in the Knicks and trust in Phil. I have to continue doing that.
“I done been through worse,” he added. “At this point, you become kind of immune to the B.S. that goes on and the politics. You become immune to that.”
Melo insists he continues to trust Phil Jackson and his direction he has for the Knicks.
If Anthony is looking for coherent and concise answers about the future, he probably should avoid the Tuesday message from Jackson. The Knicks president tweeted a 421-word post in an attempt to explain what’s “next” for the floundering franchise. Reading like a philosophy textbook from a college course with lessons about the “humanistic movement” and Abraham Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs,” Jackson’s post was intended to push back at the idea that he would only hire a coach with knowledge of the triangle offense.
Here was Jackson’s key sentence (you may want to dust off those textbooks): While explaining that he’s more of a transformational leader than a transactional one, he wrote, “How that is done can include the use of the (triangle) system of basketball, but doesn’t exclude other systems that include group play.”
Jackson neither identified another specific system nor wrote anything definitive about his plan for the Knicks beyond this vague umbrella of preferring a group-oriented style of play. The meander led to Jackson telling his followers to read his book for more context.
Even Rambis, a good friend of Jackson’s, was baffled by the transformational and transactional line.
Kristaps Porzingis defends John Wall as the Wizards guard drives on the Knicks rookie.
“I know what a transformer is,” he said.
Anthony has been the one constant in the Knicks’ revolving door of personnel. Since being acquired as the franchise player in 2011, he has worked under four head coaches (including Rambis) and represents the lone player remaining from the start of Jackson’s tenure. He has endured a lot of nonsense and, over the last three seasons, a lot of losing.
“It’s tough,” he said. “At night when I wrap my brain around it and put everything in perspective as far as the coaches I’ve been through since being here. How many players I’ve been through since being here. So we’re just trying to find some type of consistency when it comes to that.”