Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Mike Woodson has been known to keep his temperamental players under control.
Mike Woodson's fatherly approach to handling his players is another reason his guys are quick to embrace him as a leader.
Throughout the years, there have been a number of unruly players that found their way onto Woodson's rosters, the most notable of which was Rasheed Wallace.
Woodson was a member of the Detroit Pistons coaching staff in their championship 2003-04 season, and Wallace was a catalyst on that year's team. By then, 'Sheed had a reputation as a player with a loud personality.
“You know how coach Woody talks ... it's the laid back demeanor, his whole calmness." Wallace told Newsday.
Rasheed cites Woodson as the key reason he chose to end his two-year retirement and join the Knicks for a title run in 2012-13.
"Him and I, we went and traveled that long road when we were in Detroit,” Wallace said to Newsday. “With that, his overall demeanor, his respect for his players, his respect for the game—it makes it easy," Wallace said.
"He makes it easy for me to come back. I didn't have to fight with myself like, ‘OK, should I do this, or should I do that?’ I didn't have to fight with myself."
In that same conversation, Wallace was asked what exactly it was that Coach Woodson did to guide him through that season—his only year on Larry Brown's staff.
“A lot of things," Wallace answered. "Just working out with Coach Woody. Taking the time to get the extra shots up. Just trying to keep everybody level headed because there were times that we were all frustrated, even when I got there."
“You know with myself being a hothead and with Ben Wallace, the way he was, Coach Woodson kept us calm,” Wallace said to The New York Times. “He was the one that quieted the storm.”
That Times piece by Nate Taylor suggests J.R. Smith as a similar type of personality to the 2003 version of 'Sheed.
The Knicks are taking a gamble that Wallace will stay healthy, not be the volatile player who led the league in technical fouls and not disrupt the team's chemistry (the Knicks already have J. R. Smith, who is also known as being unpredictable and temperamental).
Wallace insists his trouble-making days are over, telling Yahoo! Sports, "''I'm too old for that,'' Wallace said. ''My kids are older now, so I'm too old for that.''
Smith seems content with his role in New York, but if Smith—who has a history of run-ins with losing control—acts up this season, you can bet Coach Woody will have it under control.
Follow John Dorn on Twitter at @JSDorn6, even though it won't be as entertaining as following J.R. Smith.