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Jackson shows Melo the door

GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) – Phil Jackson thinks Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks might be better off going their separate ways.

“We have not been able to win with him on the court at this time and I think the direction with our team is that he is a player that would be better off somewhere else and using his talent somewhere he can win or chase that championship,” Jackson said Friday.

Jackson stopped short of saying he wanted to trade his All-Star forward, but certainly seems eager to explore a deal that would help the Knicks get younger and more athletic.

“Right now we need players that are really active, can play every single play, defensively and offensively,” Jackson said. “That’s really important for us.”

Jackson spoke to the local media Friday for the first time since September. The Knicks finished 31-51 in their fourth straight season out of the playoffs.

He met with Anthony a day earlier, a meeting he said was cordial. The 32-year-old veteran wants to play for a winning team, and Jackson explained that it may be time for Anthony to go looking for one elsewhere because the Knicks can’t provide it.

“We just talked about how we could make things the best possible things for both of us,” Jackson said, “(find) a place where he could go to be competitive and to be back in the hunt, and something that would benefit us moving forward as a young, developing team.”

The team’s president of basketball operations says he believes there’s been progress, but signaled he will start another rebuilding of the team, a year after acquiring a number of veterans he hoped would join Anthony in becoming a playoff squad.

Moving Anthony will be difficult, given his age and the $54 million remaining on the five-year deal Jackson gave him in 2014. He also granted Anthony a no-trade clause in that contract, but said he doesn’t regret it.

“He’s carried the basic load for this team. I thought he stood up well this year in a lot of tough situations. I can’t regret it. I can’t go back and regret that,” Jackson said. “Obviously it hasn’t worked out, this partnership together. Somehow or other it didn’t click here with this team, but he’s done his role and played his role quite well.”

Jackson said he warned Anthony after last season the Knicks wouldn’t be able to provide him a winning team, but Anthony opted to stay. The Knicks had trade talks during the season but couldn’t find anything workable, and it was during that time that their relationship suffered, along with the team’s record.