The New York Knicks have become a compete and utter train wreck during the 2013-14 season.
As if the team's 3-13 record to begin the season wasn't bad enough, the train has fully careened off the tracks with the ridiculous amount of unhappiness coming to a head in Madison Square Garden. There are questions about Mike Woodson's coaching, inquiries about Carmelo Anthony's ability to function as a No. 1 option, plenty of worries about the team's depth and nothing but queries about the chemistry.
And it gets worse. At this point, every on-camera kerfuffle seems like more of an inevitably than a shock.
Now, the front office is reportedly throwing Woodson under the bus while shopping Iman Shumpert, one of the more promising players on the roster. In this case, "the bus" would be the name of our train that has departed from its straightforward course along the rails.
ESPN New York's Ian Begley reports that in addition to talking about the formerly flat-topped shooting guard's potential, ability to play on both sides of the court and reasonable contract, the Knicks are also using Woodson's poor coaching as a selling point:
According to league sources with knowledge of the team's talks with potential trade partners, president/GM Steve Mills' management team has also cited Mike Woodson's coaching as one reason for Shumpert's poor play.
Well, someone has to be at fault for the fact that Shumpert is averaging only 7.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while shooting 40.8 percent from the field. He's also posted a 10.69 PER, according to ESPN. And mind you, 15 is the league average.
Who's at fault?
That obviously can't be Shumpert, the Knicks are saying. Admitting such a thing would diminish his trade value, and they can't have that. In this early-season futility, trading him is already tantamount to waving a panic flag. They might as well try to get something big in return, even if it means undermining the man who is paid to stand on the sideline.
So...let's blame Woodson!
If Woodson wasn't already on hot seat, his seat is on fire now that NY has NBA's worst record and front office is blaming him in trade talks— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) December 4, 2013
At least trading Shumpert would be a positive for the 2-guard. As B/R's Dan Favale writes:
If the Knicks, the 28th-place defensively ranked Knicks, cannot reward a still-developing Shumpert for exhibiting effort where the team generally exudes none, then there's no personal benefit to him calling New York home anymore.
Apparently there isn't going to be much personal benefit to Woodson calling New York home for much longer either.
Those of you who love dysfunction, this is your cue to rejoice.