Phil Jackson made his first appearance at a game in Madison Square Garden since being introduced as the new president of basketball operations for the New York Knicks. As you might expect for a man who’s one of the of the most accomplished men in the history of the NBA and is already being proclaimed as a savior of one of the most storied franchises in the league, he was met with resounding applause and a standing ovation.
However, not everyone associated with the Knicks is feeling warm inside over Jackson’s arrival. In fact, there are likely some people associated with the team who might worry about their future in the Big Apple. Of course, the most notable guy in that position is current Knicks head coach Mike Woodson.
On the ESPN broadcast of Wednesday night’s Knicks’ win, Jackson said the organization would need to present a compelling case to Carmelo to get him to stay when he enters free agency this summer. While that doesn’t necessarily mean getting rid of Woodson, an exchange caught between Anthony and Woodson is not a great sign for the head coach. You can see the exchange on a Vine post from user “JonFrat” that contains some strong language.
In the video, it appears that Anthony doesn’t want to hear what Woodson has to say in the time and interrupts by saying “Let’s just win the (expletive) game.” The look on Anthony’s face is one of a guy that’s pretty fed up with his coach.
Woodson has been under heavy scrutiny for much of the year for a number of reasons. Whether it is his inability to do anything with his team defensively, his questionable rotations, or countless other things, people have been questioning his ability to coach this Knicks team and his future with them all season.
With Jackson’s arrival, there has been talk about the “Zen-Master” wanting to bring in a coach somewhat cut from his own cloth and of his choosing. Sure, Woodson claims he can learn and institute the Triangle offense, but that’s not the whole matter. Another factor is having a coach that guys like Carmelo Anthony will want to play for.
On the ESPN broadcast of Wednesday night’s Knicks’ win, Jackson said the organization would need to present a compelling case to Carmelo to get him to stay when he enters free agency this summer. While that doesn’t necessarily mean getting rid of Woodson, if there is any kind of riff between Anthony and the coach, that’s the way things could play out.
Obviously this could be an isolated incident that really doesn’t matter in the long run. After all, the Knicks were on their way to a big win over the Indiana Pacers and Anthony could have just been caught up in the moment of that in that particular huddle where he interrupted Woodson. However, there’s also a chance that it’s something more.
Jackson coming to New York obviously brings in a new era for the Knicks, one that the organization and fans hope will hold much more prosperity than they’ve seen this year. It was just a brief exchange between player and coach during a timeout, but don’t discount the possibility of it being the precursor to something more for this team in the future.