Dolan: Phil can finish contract, decide on Carmelo trade

NEW YORK (AP) — James Dolan says he won’t fire Phil Jackson or stand in the way if the Knicks president wants to trade Carmelo Anthony.

Dolan said Friday during an ESPN Radio interview that Jackson will be allowed to finish the remaining 2 1/2 years on his five-year contract if he chooses. Either side can opt out of the deal after this season, but Dolan says he won’t.

The Madison Square Garden chairman says the 71-year-old Jackson deserves more time to improve the team, which has missed the playoffs the previous two years and entered its game against Denver with a 22-32 record. Dolan says he promised Jackson full autonomy when he hired him and plans to honor his commitment to stay out of the way.

That includes with Anthony, whom Jackson has been critical of this season. Dolan wouldn’t say if he hoped the Knicks would keep Anthony because “that’s meddling with Phil. That’s telling him how to do his job and I’m not going to do it.”