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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Phil Jackson and Steve Mills plan to meet with Carmelo Anthony's group soon to reiterate how much the New York Knicks want their star free agent to stay.
And when Derek Fisher finally sits down with Anthony, Jackson might have the Knicks' newest head coach wear some of his shiny jewelry to persuade Anthony to remain a Knick.
"I think I'll have Derek wear all five of his rings the first time he comes in and talks to Carmelo," Jackson said of the five championships Fisher won with the Los Angeles Lakers. "And say, 'This is what we're working for, you know?'"
Fisher was introduced Tuesday as head coach of the Knicks, and there were more than a few questions about his best player and the team's ability to keep Anthony in New York.
"That's I guess a good question, but one that I don't have the answer to," Fisher said on whether Anthony will stay or leave. "Only Carmelo can answer that question. That's a big part of not only who I am as a person and have been as a player, but who I'll be as a coach, is that ultimately the decision to be great, to be a part of something special, to want to be the best that you can be is ultimately your choice.
|Derek Fisher says he wants Carmelo Anthony to remain with the Knicks. Phil Jackson thinks Fisher should wear his five championship rings in an attempt to convince Anthony to stay.|
"We obviously firmly believe that here is that place for Carmelo. And we are going to do our best, not to convince him or change his mind from maybe a decision he's already made, but just help give him some confidence that with the personalities involved and our commitment to working hard to achieve a certain level of success, that this is the place where he can have what it is he wants."
Anthony is expected to exercise an early termination clause in his contract and become a free agent on July 1. Jackson has said that he advised Anthony to not opt out of his contract and remain with the Knicks until they have added cap flexibility to pursue more help in the summer of 2015.
"Steve and I plan to meet with Carmelo and some of his people in the near future," Jackson said. "And we want to express to him again our desire to have him back on the team. We haven't had a plan one way or the other -- (if Anthony decides to) opt in or opt out -- because that is his choice. And he sought that in free agency and he's got the right to do that."
Fisher admitted that he doesn't have a tight relationship with Anthony outside of having played against each other numerous times when Fisher was with the Lakers and Anthony was a Denver Nugget.
"We played against each other for years," Fisher said. "He is one of the great ones. In due time, I will continue to speak with all of our players, not just Carmelo. But there won't be any hesitation to let him know that I'm excited about the opportunity to possibly work with him.
"But it will be his choice. As the head coach, I have to be prepared to coach the players we ultimately have. I would love the opportunity to work closely with Carmelo. I look forward to it and we will see if it can happen."
Mills, the team's general manager under Jackson, hopes that Jackson and Fisher's championship pedigree will convince Anthony that the Knicks are committed to winning.
Even though Fisher has never been a head coach, the Knicks are banking on Fisher's championship experience as a player transferring to his new job on the sideline.
"Hopefully it will matter to Carmelo," Mills said of Fisher's championship experience persuading Anthony to remain a Knick. "I know having these two guys and their championship pedigree will make a difference when we go out and start talking to players about that we are trying to build here."
Fisher believes the Knicks can win even though they just finished 37-45 and are cap-strapped with monstrous contracts and have no picks in the upcoming draft.
"I'm not as down on the roster and the team as some of you in the room are," Fisher said to reporters at his press conference. "I think there are some things that we can do with this team that can be special right now, not years from now.
"(Anthony) wants to be on a great team. He wants to be around great people that want to achieve greatness. He's great and he deserves that, and so that's what we want to create with him and hopefully we can do it."