New York Knicks owner James Dolan met with forward Carmelo Anthony to get a read on whether coach Mike Woodson's voice is still being heard in the team's locker room, but Anthony seemingly wants no part in whether the team ultimately decides to fire its head coach, according to an in-depth report from the New York Daily News.
Following a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers that dropped New York to 19-30 on the season, Anthony told reporters that any coaching change would be out of his hands.
The message is likely by design.
Anthony has done everything in his power to alter the perception of him being a selfish superstar with the ability to push front offices to find new coaches when things aren't going the winning way. And according to the Daily News, Anthony has not even privately complained about Woodson and his coaching staff.
"There may be players that have a problem with Woody and want to blame him but Carmelo isn't one of them," said a person close to Anthony. "If Carmelo has tuned out Woody or doesn't want him as a coach, why did he score 62 points two weeks ago? Why was he player of the month in January?"
After meeting with the media after the loss on Wednesday, Anthony was pulled aside with one anonymous player to speak with Dolan about Woodson.
Dolan apparently felt the need to gauge just how hot the seat under Woodson should be because the Knicks front office is divided on whether its head coach is still getting the message across to his players. The front office's confusion may be because it's getting mixed messages.
Anthony is averaging 27.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game on 45 percent shooting, and he seemingly continues to play hard for his coach. Meanwhile, center Tyson Chandler has publicly complained over Woodson's defensive schemes, and a number of Knicks have seen their production drop off this season. When all of that is considered, the Knicks are still just 2.5 games back of the eighth seed Charlotte Bobcats in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
It's up to the front office to decide the root cause of the woes.
The Knicks will be toeing a fine line with Anthony, their star who doesn't want the franchise to continue painting the picture of him as a coach-killer. At the same time, the forward wants to win, and he can simply ride this rough year out and enter free agency this summer, where he can leave New York hanging if he sees more opportunity elsewhere.