The New York Knicks are a mess, but head coach Mike Woodson wants people to know that it’s not because he dislikes certain players.
On the heels of an embarrassing loss to Portland, Woodson angrily denied that he dislikes Iman Shumpert, and called the rumors “bullsh*t.”
The Knicks coach angrily denounced the notion he doesn’t like Shumpert, saying it’s “bulls–t” after the two spoke during practice. Woodson’s salty comments came one day after Shumpert played what may have been the worst game of his NBA career in Portland, when it looked as if he had quit on his coach.
Woodson has been highly critical of Shumpert since preseason began, when he started eyeing J.R. Smith as a starter to replace Shumpert. Knicks president Steve Mills had spoken to several teams about the Georgia Tech defensive guard, fueling belief Woodson is trying to run him out of town following the summer-league fiasco when Shumpert played in just one game.
Shumpert’s play recently reeks of a guy who knows he may be traded, and according to the New York Post, the shooting guard and Mike Woodson had a heart to heart the minute the team arrived in L.A.
“If I didn’t like him, I don’t think he’d be averaging 30 minutes on my ballclub,’’ Woodson said testily. “You got to look at that. I like everybody on our team. So that perception is bulls–t, if you ask me. If I didn’t think much of the man, he wouldn’t be playing. If I don’t think much of you, you’re not going to play.”
“I’m going to play guys I like and think can help us win and who play hard,’’ Woodson added. “He’s one of those kids. That’s why he’s been a starter on this team since he’s been a rookie. That perception is bulls–t, if you ask me.’’
When asked if he got that message across to Shumpert, Woodson said, “He knows how I feel. That’s all that counts.’’