Phil Jackson would coach in right fit

"I have a great deal of respect for Phil, but I am not going to entertain anything about Phil Jackson. My job is to try to get this team to play at a high level and we got a big game tonight against Utah and we got to get ready to play."

After the Knicks' win on Friday, Carmelo Anthony said he was aware of the reports about the franchise's interest in Jackson but was not privy to the organization's pursuit of the legendary coach.

"Of course you hear it," he said. "I heard it when I came in today. In the training room, that's all that's on on ESPN, so you see the stuff. But as far as me, personally I haven't heard anything of that nature. So it's hard for me to speak on something I don't know about."

Amar'e Stoudemire hopes the Knicks can weather the current round of rumors and remain focused on trying to sneak into the playoffs.

"I guess when you're not winning, it opens the doors for a lot of rumors, you know? Our job is to win. If we win, there wouldn't be any of these distractions. The door wouldn't be open for so many rumors," Stoudemire said before the game. "As players we've got to go out there and perform and win, that's all it boils down to."

Lakers center Pau Gasol, who won NBA titles with Jackson in 2009 and '10, said he could see him catching on again in some capacity with a team.

"I think his knowledge of the game is as good as it gets and I think he's probably at a point in his life that he cannot keep up with the schedule of being a head coach, so I see him being involved upstairs in the [front] office of a team, being involved in basketball decisions and helping a franchise hopefully get the right tools."

But Gasol had doubts about Jackson taking on a role simply to scout free agents.

"I don't know about recruiter. I don't know if I picture him as a recruiter," Gasol said. "But [in] basketball operations. Not just a consultant. I think he wouldn't be OK being just a consultant, but being a guy that calls the shots and makes certain decisions for the franchise. I think that's something that he will be comfortable with."'s Ian Begley and Ohm Youngmisuk and's Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.

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