Charley Rosen, Phil Jackson's friend and biographer, was interviewed by Marc Berman of the New York Post ahead of the final episodes of The Last Dance which air on Sunday night. Boy, was it a doozy. Rosen shared some truly incredible claims and revisionist history that Phil Jackson will absolutely love to hear.
The big headline, which is what the Post went with, is that Rosen said that if Carmelo Anthony had embraced the triangle offense, he could have been Michael Jordan.
"“He’d have to pass and do this and run around, but he’d ultimately have a whole side wide open — 16-17 feet away from the basket. The defense would be too far away to double. He’d have open jump shots and was one or two dribbles from the basket. He’d be a killer. He’d be Michael Jordan. He’d be unstoppable. But Melo was catch and shoot and didn’t want to do other things.’’"
So the benefit of running the triangle would have been getting Melo into isolation 16-feet from the basket. That actually sounds like a perfect description of how he spent most of his career. Just imagine it on the other side I guess? And that's how he becomes Michael Jordan.
So who is to blame for the triangle failing in New York? Not Jackson. Neither Derek Fisher and Jeff Hornacek were ready for the New York job. Hornacek was apparently given the job because he knew the triangle from defending it. Perhaps the guy who hired him should have checked.
Rosen also gives Jackson credit for wanting to trade Kristaps Porzingis. If Jackson had gotten his way, the Knicks would have traded Porzingis during the 2017 Draft and ended up with Lauri Markkanen and two other starters. It's unclear why trading Porzingis for a poor man's Porzingis should be considered a good move.
Finally, Rosen believes that Knicks fans disliked Jackson because of his success with the Bulls at New York's expense. If the Knicks had done anything besides lose the entire time Jackson was there, New York fans would have loved him as much as any fanbase loves a team president. But they didn't. So they didn't.