Brandon Jennings admits Carmelo Anthony trade rumors 'took a toll' on Knicks

All the talk about Melo being traded caused a distraction.

A few months ago, Brandon Jennings asked the Knicks to release him because he wanted to play for a contender. Shortly after, he signed with the Wizards, and it's been a great move. He's averaging about 10 fewer minutes in Washington, but he was able to walk away from thedysfunction in New York and he's now on a playoff-bound team.

Thursday night, he faced the franchise that he played for earlier this seasonand won. Now that he's gone from the Knicks, he is able to speak candidlyabout what went wrong. On Thursday, he blamed Phil Jackson and the front office for putting trade rumors out there about Carmelo Anthony.

"Everything was hitting your phone about Melo leaving,” Jennings said, via the New York Times. “It definitely took a toll on the team, too. Because it wasn’t even about basketball anymore. It was more about what’s going on with Melo.”

Jennings, who scored four points Thursday while picking up three assists and three rebounds, said he felt bad for Anthony most of all.

“I think it was just like a roller-coaster — emotional roller-coaster — for him this year with everything he had to deal with, which isn’t fair,” he said. “For a player to wake up every day and you’re hearing trade rumors and that you might be gone, this and that.”

The guard added it was "one of the wildest things" he's seen during his eight-season career. In addition to the Melo rumors, he claimed the triangle offense tripped up players as well: "Wewere trying to learn an offense that guys didn't really know."

Jennings got out when he couldand instead of going home in a few weeks, he'll be playing for one of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference.

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