Losers of their last nine, the Knicks are searching for answers. For a win. But in the absence of answers and winning, they've resorted to players-only meetings and in-house tiffs.
Kenyon Martin and Metta World Peace got into a "heated" verbal argument during a Knicks workout prior to Sunday's game against the Pelicans, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
The two veteran forwards did not come to blows but the back and forth was described as "intense" by one source with knowledge of the dustup.
World Peace denies the "stories," cautioning us not to believe everything we hear:
Don't believe those stories you here. I would play with 10 Kenyon Martins and of there year. And he has two finals appearances #Knicks— Metta World Peace (@MettaWorldPeace) December 2, 2013
Metta World Peace, on @IanBegley's report of a kerfuffle between himself and Kenyon Martin: "We had an argument about pasta."— Scott Cacciola (@ScottCacciola) December 3, 2013
Martin and World Peace apparently settled their differences prior to tip off (if there was anything to settle at all), but their amicable resolution did little to inspire a reeling locker room. New Orleans was without sophomore-phenom Anthony Davis for much of the game—a game where the Knicks held a lead in the fourth quarter—and still the team was unable to secure a victory.
Instead, Madison Square Garden played host to another dustup.
Afterward, both players attempted to shrug the scuffle off, but they cannot erase the vivid picture now ingrained in our memory. Cameras showed Shumpert and 'Melo going at it, the former of whom continued his jawing long after he was relegated to the bench.
Recent quarrels suggest that New York's morale is at an all-time low and tensions are boiling over. They'll also be used to color the Knicks a dysfunctional mess, an interpretation that cannot be easily refuted.
When will the Knicks finally get it together?
But these things tend to happen in the heat of the moment. Emotions run high when on the field of battle and players forfeit control when the loss column bestrides the win column.
Less than 20 games into the season, the Knicks are at that point. They're desperate. Lost. Panicked. And at times, even lifeless.
Begley says they've already had two "closed-door" pow wows to address their internal grievances and could be headed for another. Trouble's afoot and the Knicks have done nothing to curb it.
Feuding off the court and during games won't solve anything. Save the emotion, save the anger for your opponent. Save your season by playing for and with each other.
"I think we're playing to lose rather than playing to win right now," Anthony said following New York's latest loss, via Begley.
Once the Knicks start playing to win, in-fighting will cease to exist, allowing the team to climb out of the tabloids and up the standings.