Apparently, Carmelo Anthony was so tired of Phil Jackson in the later stages of their respective New York Knicks tenures that it actually put him to sleep.
Though we didn’t really need more evidence that the former Knicks president mangled his relationship with the team’s best player, ESPN’s Ian Begley added to the heap with a report on Thursday.
Not only did a high-ranking executive wonder aloud, “What the f— is he doing? This is insane. How is this helping us win?” after one of many incidents in which Jackson ripped Anthony via the media, but the 10-time All-Star grew so disinterested with Jackson’s schtick that he fell asleep in team meetings helmed by Jackson:
During his final season with the Knicks, Jackson presided over mindfulness meditation training with the players, as he had done with the Lakers and Bulls. The intention was to instill a measure of mental discipline, arming the players with exercises to calm themselves in high-pressure and volatile situations.
During the sessions, Jackson instructed the Knicks to sit on the edge of their chairs, eyes closed, and count to 10. Breathing in and out, the objective was to clear the mind. They repeated the process several times. Some players were dutiful in the exercise, some indifferent and some downright mocking of its worth, team members said. As Jackson’s relationship with Anthony deteriorated, so did Melo’s commitment to mindfulness training. In the final sessions, witnesses said, it became common for Jackson to tell the players to open their eyes at the end of the exercise, only to find Anthony’s head tilted back, eyes still shut, seemingly snoozing.
So deep, put his ass to sleep.
Added Walt “Clyde” Frazier, Jackson’s former Knicks teammate and now the team’s analyst for television broadcasts: “I think you can’t motivate people unless you communicate. But there was silence [from Jackson]. He never said anything.”
Now both are gone—Jackson’s termination drew celebration from Knicks fans and Anthony’s struggling for the Oklahoma City Thunder—and the Knicks are actually pretty good.