Melo on Woodson’s Future: ‘Yeah, we’re worried’

Adam Zagoria

After speaking with the media following Tuesday’s practice, Knicks coach Mike Woodson left the court and disappeared from view.

Assistants Darrell Walker, Herb Williams and Jim Todd remained on the court working out players.

This is customary for a Knicks practice, but given the team’s present circumstances it seems fair to wonder whether it was a metaphor for what might transpire in the next few days.

If the 3-13 Knicks lose one or both games Thursday in Brooklyn and Friday at home against the Orlando Magic, will Woodson be fired?

“I mean, yeah, we’re worried about that,” Carmelo Anthony said. “But then again, we’ve got to worry about playing basketball, man.”

The Knicks have lost nine in a row — seven straight at home — and are tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the NBA’s worst record at 3-13.

“It’s not about me,” Woodson said. “I’m trying to do the best I can do in terms of getting us out of this slump, and we have to focus on Brooklyn, that’s the next game up.”

The Nets (5-12) are almost equally as horrid as the Knicks, with the two teams combining for an 8-25 record.

But while both teams have been ravaged by injuries, the Knicks are facing questions about internal strife, with reports that Kenyon Martin and Metta World Peace got into a verbal altercation on Sunday.

“That’s reports,” Martin said. “It’s all bullshit.”

Iman Shumpert was also caught on camera Sunday confronting Anthony over a missed defensive assignment.

“That had nothing to do with anything,” Woodson said. “During the heat of the battle – especially when you’re losing games – everybody points the finger and tries to reach for certain things. I’m not gonna allow that to happen with our group. We have a close-knit group. There was a mistake that happened defensively when that happened, there were some words exchanged, but at the end of the day, hey that’s behind us and we gotta move on. That’s basketball. That happens in sports. Sometimes it’s healthy, I think.”

Asked if the locker room was fractured, Anthony said, “Not at all, not at all. It can be. It can be during a time like this, but we can’t allow that.”

Without Jason Kidd, Rasheed Wallace and Kurt Thomas, Anthony is the leader of the team, a team that has fallen into an abyss.

“I think it’s too much being put on who’s a leader and who’s not the leader,” Anthony said. “I’m a leader of this team. I know that and everybody else knows that. I’ll lead in my own way. Kenyon Martin might lead in his way. Everybody is a leader. As a leader of this team I need other guys to help me lead. That’s just the way it’s got to be.”

Martin defended Woodson, saying the players were responsible for the team’s losing streak, not the coach.

“The man do an excellent job with us,” Martin said. “It’s not on him because we’re not getting wins right now.”

He added: “It’s about us going out and playing the way we capable of playing. It’s about us caring and giving a f—, man, that’s what it boils down to.”


Adam Zagoria covers the New York Knicks and Big East hoops for NBA.com and SNY.tv. He also appears as a Big East Basketball Insider on SNY and 1050 ESPN Radio. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.

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