Sometimes, the New York Knicks are so dysfunctional it's more funny than sad.
This is one of those times.
You know what they say about a sinking ship? The rats desert the ship and the captain goes down with it — and coach Mike Woodson may be on his last days afloat.
Left behind to explain the team’s latest round of troubles were Woodson and a pair of veterans, Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire.
And what they had to say wasn’t exactly reassuring — Woodson’s words not encouraging for the team’s fading chances and in particular, the usually positive Stoudemire’s words not encouraging for Woodson, whom one league source said could be removed before the Feb. 20 trade deadline.
Popper writes that Knicks players "scurried" out of the locker room after practice Tuesday without talking to the media, an escape that can be construed as ominous. But those familiar with the Knicks, and who have ever attempted to get ahold of players or straight answers, know that's also typical of the organization.
Those same people know that Woodson could still be on his way out as well.
Though ESPN's Marc Stein previously revealed owner James Dolan addressed the players and promised there would be no personnel changes, that was ages ago—Dec. 26—when the Knicks were 9-19. More than one month later, the Knicks are still 10 games under .500 and two games back of a playoff spot.
That doesn't reflect well on Woodson. Many—including yours truly—thought the Knicks had turned a corner when they rattled off five straight victories in early January. Since then, they have lost seven of their last 11, including a five-game losing streak to offset their previous stretch of winning.
Working in Woodson's favor, of course, is the fact New York isn't completely out of hope just yet.
Obviously we didn’t come in expecting to put ourselves in this situation. But on the bright end, this is the kind of year where that’s the case for a lot of teams. I feel like it’s still wide open. I looked at the standings, and I feel like we’ve got a real opportunity to kind of shoot up to that third spot and try to get ourselves in the mix.
Finishing third is a tall order, but it's not out of the question. Seven games back of the third-place Toronto Raptors with 34 to play—that could still happen. And Woodson could still be safe for the rest of this season.
Following an embarrassing loss to the league-worst Milwaukee Bucks and knowing Carmelo Anthony won't take too kindly to missing the playoffs this summer when he hits free agency, Woodson could also be fired.
Times like these demand change, and with the Knicks short on movable assets, switching coaches is the closest thing to a shakeup they can orchestrate.
After failing to improve New York's standing since then, Woodson may officially be "kind of done."