Who doesn’t like a good New York Knicks/Phil Jackson/dysfunction story? It’s a bit easier to digest for Knicks fans nowadays, seeing how good the Knicks have looked since casting both Jackson and Carmelo Anthony out during the offseason.
But, it is fun taking a look back at just how dysfunctional and disconnected Jackson’s tenure with the Knicks truly was.
In a report from ESPN’s Ian Begley, Jackson would often engage in “mindfulness meditation training” with Knicks players in which the players would sit on the edge of their chairs and count to 10 with their eyes closed.
This, however, put former Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony to sleep. Literally.
“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.”
Begley’s report stated that some inside the Knicks organization had concerns about Jackson’s leadership and raised issue when Jackson publicly called Anthony a “ball hog”.
“What the f–k is he doing?” a Knicks executive said of the comments, per Begley’s report. “This is insane. How is this helping us win?”
Jackson has a lot more time on his hands, nowadays, to engage in his meditation sessions, although no one would expect to see Anthony attending them anytime soon.