“Not now, chief. I’m in the zone.”
Despite giving every indication that they had packed it in for the season, the Knickerbockers have hunkered down and won their last seven games. Anthony, meanwhile, is looking good, feeling confident and finding a rhythm—all factors which likely led to the interaction he had with coach Mike Woodson during Wednesday night’s win over the Indiana Pacers.
According to Jake O’Donnell of SportsGrid.com, the two men had a brief, Spaghetti Western showdown during a timeout, with Anthony essentially telling his coach to shut up and let the boys play.
Warning: Video contains NSFW language.
What did Anthony say?
It sounded like he told Woodson, “Let's play the f-----g game.” Others heard, "Let's win the f-----g game."
Either way, Woodson’s face certainly looked as though one of his players just told him to shut up and stop trying to coach.
There are two things we could possibly glean from this situation. You could assume Anthony was fired up, in the heat of the moment and just wanting to flow. You wouldn’t be wrong, either. Anthony was rolling.
The Knicks star dominated the Pacers, dropping 34 points and making Paul George look like the still-developing new Jack he is.
A more cynical take would assume Anthony was lashing out against a lame-duck coach who has lost all control and is on his way out of town.
Thomas Barrabi of the International Business Times writes that Anthony's frustration is normal, but doesn't bode well for Woodson.
This type of heated interaction is fairly common in professional sports, particularly for star athletes in tense, late-game situations. Still, Anthony’s blatant dismissal of Woodson’s plan could hint at a rift between the Knicks’ coach and franchise player.
One thing is certain: Anthony no longer answers to Woodson.
Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com reports that Woodson has claimed he is open to letting Jackson help him coach the team on the triangle offense.
“Absolutely, I can teach [the triangle offense],” Woodson told reporters on Wednesday. “But it’d be even better if he helped me teach it. That would be great.”
Woodson and Knicks owner James Dolan have all but given control over the team's future to Jackson, from coaching to management decisions. So it comes as no small wonder that Anthony doesn’t mind being flippant with Woodson.
Don’t be surprised if these moments come more frequently, or if Woodson is out of a job by Monday. The Knicks are winning again, but their recent success on the court and in management is eroding the hardwood under Woodson’s feet.
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