It was a natural progression in what's quickly become a disastrous season for the New York Knicks.
And a costly one at that.
Mike Woodson has been fined $25k by the NBA for criticizing referees during his radio interview yesterday.— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) November 22, 2013
With so much blame to go around for the team's sluggish 3-8 start—bad offense, porous defense, questionable coaching, disappearing dance teams—it was only a matter of time before the officials felt some of this wrath.
So, what exactly did Woodson do to deserve this five-figure punishment? He went on ESPN Radio on Thursday to sound off about the lack of favorable foul calls for his superstar scorer Carmelo Anthony.
Absolutely not. I'm not going to shy away from that either. I think Melo gets hit more than ever.
I've been at this thing 30 years. Sometimes I'm starting to wonder what's a foul and what's not a foul. What are you going to do? They can't see everything and I understand that. Sometimes they miss calls. I thought he got bumped on it. Hell, he didn't get the call so we have to move on.
Too bad that moment of clarity didn't surface sooner; Woody moved on a couple minutes and $25,000 too late.
Was there any truth behind his words? Well, New York is ranked second-to-last in free-throw attempts per game (17.8), and Anthony's 7.5 nightly trips to the foul line, considering how active he is in this offense, doesn't scream superstar treatment.
But the Knicks are often letting the officials off the hook. It's hard to expect to hear many chirps when the team seems so content to settle for outside jumpers.
NBC Sports' Kurt Helin wrote that Woodson's simply doing his job, even if the blame game has moved in the wrong direction:
This was Woodson just trying to get an advantage, as he should. But Anthony has not been the problem with the Knicks offense—he remains an elite scorer in this league. It’s the lack of consistent help around him that is the bigger issue. And that’s not on the refs.
Then again, Woodson has reason to keep fingers pointing in any direction that he can. There may not be a hotter seat in the business than his.