We all know that Phil Jackson has a unique way of doing things, so we shouldn’t be all that surprised by his recruiting methods, especially when he’s limited financially.
It’s well known that Jackson is trying to lure Pau Gasol to his New York Knicks, though the 68-year-old can currently only offer the Spaniard the taxpayer mid-level exception of $3.2 million. Gasol is said to be seeking a deal in the $10 to $12 million per year range.
For this reason, the Zen Master is being forced to get creative, and one selling point he’s apparently pushing is the location of the United Nations.
“We’d like to be in the ballpark of where he’s getting contracts offered,” Jackson said, according to Al Iannazzone from Newsday. “We anticipate it’s going to be somewhere $10 million above. We don’t have that kind of money. But we have what Pau needs: the United Nations.
“He’s the ambassador for the United Nations. That’s a platform. Pretty soon he’ll be Secretary for the United Nations. Your career is headed that way and this is a good platform for you. I don’t know if that’s going to buy him into New York or not. But we’d like him to be there.”
Oh, and Jackson also mentioned that Carmelo Anthony guy, too.
“He knows what he has here and what is possible. I think he’d like to play with Carmelo. I think he’d like to play for a winner,” Jackson said, before sending a shot toward his fiancé’s team on the West Coast. “We can’t guarantee that but with him we guarantee a much better chance.”
If the Lakers are able to land Anthony – James Worthy thinks the purple and gold are still in with a shot, by the way – it’s been reported that Gasol would quickly re-sign with the Lake Show.
However, it’s not clear what Gasol would decide to do if the Lakers miss out on Melo.
A number of teams are reportedly pursuing the two-time NBA champion, including the San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder, as well as the Lakers, though the Bulls – and not the Knicks – would probably be Gasol’s best chance of getting paid if he decides to leave the City of Angels this summer.