Phil Jackson sounds like he is a Carmelo Anthony fan, but he believes he can get better, and the new Knicks president wants it to happen in New York.
Jackson said Anthony is a big part of the Knicks’ future, and that the plan remains to try and build around him.
“No doubt,” Jackson said Tuesday morning at his introductory news conference. “There’s no doubt about Carmelo being one of the top scorers in the league, maybe the best individual isolation player in the game. I have no problems with committing to saying Carmelo is in the plans.
“I think there are a number of things I see Carmelo doing as he moves forward, and I think I was on record saying a year ago that I think Carmelo, as great a player as he is, still has another level he can go to. And I hope together, with the team we create, he can get there.”
Anthony has said he is going to opt out of his contract after this season and test free agency. He can make the most money by re-signing with the Knicks, who can pay him about $34 million more than any other team.
But Anthony also has said being on a team that can contend for a championship consistently matters more to him than the money.
Anthony said Monday that he would be willing to change his game if Jackson asked him to and it improved his chances of winning a title. Anthony would adjust if — and when — Jackson’s triangle offense becomes the Knicks’ system. Jackson said on ESPN Radio on Tuesday that there is hope and reason for Anthony to remain a Knick.
Kings retain White
The Sacramento Kings signed forward Royce White to a second 10-day contract.
Sacramento first signed White to a 10-day contract March 6, and he immediately reported to the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League. White has started four games for Reno, averaging 8.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 24.8 minutes per game.
White has yet to play for the Kings, who just completed a seven-game road trip. Sacramento was hosting Washington on Tuesday night.
Wizards sign Gooden
Former Cavaliers forward Drew Gooden signed a contract to play for the Washington Wizards for the rest of this season.
The deal, which comes after the 32-year-old Gooden had two consecutive 10-day contracts with Washington, was announced by the team Monday.
In his first eight games with the Wizards, Gooden averaged 8.1 points and 4.6 rebounds in 14.6 minutes.
The 6-foot-10 forward is in his 12th NBA season. He played with the Cavaliers from 200405 season until midway through the 2007-08 season.