Phil Jackson: Knicks sought 'win now' approach after talk with Melo

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Phil Jackson says that a recent conversation with New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony factored into his decision to take a "win now" approach with the team this summer.

In a meeting after the season, Jackson asked Anthony, 32, if the Knicks were "moving quickly enough" to meet Anthony's timeline to win. Jackson said Anthony's response conveyed "that he's getting into an age where things have to happen for him, so we decided to activate ourselves."

Jackson moved quickly, acquiring Derrick Rose in a trade late last month and signing veterans Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings in free agency.

All three players were introduced at the team practice facility on Friday. The club also announced the signings of reserve forward Lance Thomas, European big man Willy Hernangomez and summer leaguer Marshall Plumlee.

Jackson and the rest of the front office believe that they've put together "a team with a little more experience [and] a little more competitive power" than in seasons past.

The Knicks won a total of 49 games in Jackson's first two full years as team president, which already has included two head coaches.

Jackson shied away from making playoff predictions on Friday but said the club would be more competitive than last season, when the Knicks won just 32 games and missed the playoffs for the third consecutive year.

"We like this team," Jackson said. "Joakim Noah has been somebody that's been on my list for quite a long time."

One concern for the Knicks this season will be the possibility of injuries. Rose has played in 39 percent of possible games since the start of the 2013-14 season because of several knee injuries. Noah was limited to 29 games last season because of left-shoulder injuries, and Jennings missed nearly 12 months because of a torn left Achillies.

"There are some guys who have had injury issues in the past, we think we've added enough depth and we feel confident as we do our due diligence medically," Knicks general manager Steve Mills said. "We feel good about our ability to withstand a season and have a competitive team."

Mills said the club's "win now" approach this summer was taken with Kristaps Porzingis in mind. Some assumed that the Knicks would rebuild slowly around Porzingis, a 20-year-old who will enter his second season, but Mills said he believes that "the best thing we can do to help him develop is to put him in a culture of winning basketball."
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