How confusing has this whole free-agency thing become?
Not even the Zen Master is entirely certain of the future.
"We're waiting," Jackson told reporters Thursday in Las Vegas after watching a Knicks summer league practice. "I felt really good about my [most recent] conversation with Carmelo. We really struck a chord. The two of us feel really passionately about what we're trying to get accomplished.
"It's his ability to stay, be patient, lead and watch us develop a winner. There's no instantaneous winner that we think is going to happen to the Knicks right now, but we're going to be a lot better."
A day earlier, the New York Daily News anonymously quoted a friend of Anthony who said the 11-year veteran "believes in Phil" and was ready to rejoin the team.
Like Jackson, who coached the Lakers for 11 seasons, they're waiting.
They lost another possible roster addition Thursday, point guard
They're not alone. They might be joined by Miami in a race for the few remaining mid-tier free agents if
His website crashed periodically Thursday as fans flocked to see whether he had made an announcement. Police boosted security at his home near Cleveland, whatever the outcome might have been as the city seemed increasingly fine with embracing the player who turned his back on them four years ago.
In fact, a headline in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer said getting James back "would be an all-time coup."
Back in Los Angeles, the Lakers clung to the glimmer of a frontcourt tandem of Anthony and
Gasol has been courted by a variety of teams besides the Lakers — San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Miami and Chicago among them.
But one person familiar with Gasol's thinking said Gasol could end up playing with Anthony … in New York.
"Don't count Phil out," said the person, cognizant that Gasol and Jackson developed a strong relationship over the years, even after Jackson's retirement from coaching in 2011.
Seeing how Jackson signed a five-year, $60-million deal in March, this probably won't be the last time the Lakers and Knicks chase the same player.
It hasn't been a weird experience for Jackson to indirectly go head-to-head with his fiancee Jeanie, who also happens to be the Lakers' highest-ranking official.
At least that's what Jackson said Thursday.
"No, we talked about this before," he said. "We're gonna be in a place where there are going to be players that both of us want and we just have to deal with it. We'll put our best pitch forward and when you lose the guy we just accept that as part of the game."
The Lakers lost a can't-win pitch to
This time, they fought an uphill financial battle with Anthony, who could sign with the Knicks for $33 million more than he could with the Lakers.