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Knicks Player Says Jackson Will Join

Carmelo Anthony said Wednesday that he has heard Phil Jackson will be “coming on board” with the New York Knicks, the strongest indication yet that the 11-time NBA champion coach will soon be taking over the team’s basketball operations.

Anthony went as far as to suggest that it’s no longer a question of if Jackson will rejoin the Knicks, but when.

“Everything’s in his hands now,” Anthony told reporters in Boston at the Knicks’ gameday shootaround practice.

Neither the Knicks nor Jackson had any immediate comment. Jackson played on the Knicks’ last championship team in 1973, and later went on to win six NBA titles as a coach with the Chicago Bulls and five more with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Jackson, 68, has said in the past that teams have tried to lure him back to the NBA, and there has been speculation for several days that this offer from the Knicks would be good enough to get him to interrupt retirement.

Jackson has been out of the league and largely out of the public eye since 2011, when he ended his coaching stint with the Lakers.

“I still don’t have a lot of the details, all the details,” Anthony told reporters.

“Have I heard? Yeah, I’ve heard that he will be coming on board. It’s not official yet. You can always use Phil Jackson’s insight on whatever ... his philosophy, his mindset, his resume, what he brings to the game, what he brings to a team or organization. That goes without even saying, so we’ll see how that plays out.”

Anthony said he hasn’t spoken with Jackson about his plans for the Knicks. If this deal becomes official, that will likely change quickly, since Anthony could leave this summer as a free agent.

Bryant Out for Season

El Segundo, Calif. — Kobe Bryant won’t be back on the court for the Los Angeles Lakers this season.

Bryant expressed only mild frustration Wednesday after the official announcement of the long-expected decision to shut him down for the year. Bryant’s broken bone in his left knee still hasn’t healed enough for weight-bearing exercise.

With just five weeks left in their miserable season, the Lakers elected to preserve their superstar guard for next season, when he’ll be 36.

“It’s disappointing,” Bryant said at the Lakers’ training complex. “You want to get out there and play and perform, but at the same time, you’ve just got to be realistic and go from there.”

Bryant has played in just six games this season, the shortest in the remarkable career of the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history. He missed the first 19 games after tearing his left Achilles tendon last April, and the five-time NBA champion was back in uniform for just 10 days before fracturing the top of his shinbone in Memphis on Dec. 17.

The Lakers initially thought Bryant could return shortly after six weeks of recovery, but the bone has been slow to heal.