"I think the biggest mistake I made was actually this…One of the first deals I engineered when I came back to New York was to trade Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to Dallas for Shane Larkin, Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington, Samuel Dalembert, plus a second-round pick that the Mavs owed to the Celtics. In talking with Boston, I was given the option of taking that pick or else taking Jae Crowder. I liked Crowder but I thought he wouldn’t get much of a chance to play behind Carmelo [Anthony], so I took the pick which turned out to be Cleanthony Early. While Cleanthony has missed lots of time in the past two seasons with us, he still has the potential to be a valuable player. Even so, I should have taken Crowder."
Sorry Phil, but I'm calling shenanigans on this. The Rajon Rondo deal that brought Jae Crowder to Boston happened in December of 2014--Jackson dealt Chandler and Felton to the Mavericks in June, six months earlier. Assuming Phil just misspoke and actually meant to say Dallas instead of Boston, It's still hard to believe his line about liking Crowder but being afraid he'd never get to play behind Carmelo.
In June of 2014, Crowder (picked in the second round a year earlier) was coming off a rookie season in which he averaged 5.0 points and 2.4 rebounds in 17.3 minutes per game while shooting 38 percent from the floor. Jackson had been out of the NBA since 2011 (when he retired from coaching the Lakers) before taking the Knicks job three months earlier. My guess is Jackson had no idea who Crowder was when he made the trade with Dallas.
Regardless of the sincerity of Jackson's story, Crowder's response on Instagram was perfect:
Notice the location Crowder used in his Instagram post. 😂😴 (📰: https://t.co/fg2lUqkQLX) pic.twitter.com/J9SqsLcixV— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) August 27, 2016