Report: Phil Jackson, Carmelo Anthony Spoke Privately at Staples Center

Stephen Babb@@StephenBabbFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2014

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 18: Phil Jackson addresses the media during his introductory press conference as President of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 18, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

It didn't take long for Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony to begin forging a relationship that could last the remainder of the latter's career if the New York Knicks play their cards right. 

According to the New York Post's Marc Berman, the newly anointed team president spoke with Anthony in the locker room before joining the rest of the team on the floor during Tuesday morning's shootaround at Staples Center.

No one was sharing any details afterward, though. Per Berman, Anthony only revealed, "I’ve seen him here and there." Jackson meanwhile left the arena without speaking to media, leaving the contents of their conversation a matter of speculation.

Anthony has indicated that he wants to explore his free-agent options this summer, but Jackson will be intent to keep him around, and he made as much clear at his introductory news conference, per Newsday's Al Iannazzone:

No doubt. 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.

Anthony, who has a player-option he could theoretically exercise to remain in New York next season, is making over $21 million this season and due a similarly rich contract when it comes time to sign one. When it comes to remaining with the Knicks, however, the sticking point has less to do with money and more to do with the organization's ability to surround Anthony with enough talent to build a winner.

That's where Jackson comes in.

The new president of operations will have plenty of decisions to make, including what to do with the club's newfound cap flexibility when Amar'e Stoudemire's salary comes off the books in 2015. Jackson will also have to decide what to do with head coach Mike Woodson, a subject on which he's remained conspicuously silent thus far.

For the time being, Anthony believes he and Jackson are "on the same page" according to CBSSports' Ken Berger.

The occasional private meeting just might help keep it that way.