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Report: Knicks coach Woodson confronted Tyson Chandler over public, critical comments

Jan 22, 2014, 10:58 AM EDT

Tyson Chandler AP

The Knicks are a mess right now, and with all the losing going on, there is bound to be some internal drama where players and coaches aren’t seeing eye to eye. And in New York, that means the media will dig until it finds something to air out publicly, no matter how minor or routine the event actually was.

After Monday’s blowout loss at home to the Nets, Tyson Chandler was publicly critical of head coach Mike Woodson’s defensive strategy to switch everything, which creates confusion at times and allowed Brooklyn a ton of wide-open looks.

Reportedly, this is part of a pattern of comments where Chandler is concerned, and Woodson has spoken to him about it in the past.

From Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

According to a team source, Woodson recently confronted Chandler about comments the veteran center made that could be interpreted as undermining the coach’s authority. It is unclear when that conversation took place, but it could have happened last week following a loss to the Indiana Pacers, when Chandler said “we didn’t make adjustments.”

That answer was in response to reporters asking Chandler to comment on Woodson’s claim that the Pacers simply outworked the Knicks. It was erroneously reported that Carmelo Anthony was criticizing Woodson when in fact Chandler took a subtle shot.

Ironically, Woodson has had no trouble naming names when things haven’t gone well this season. Iman Shumpert and Beno Udrih have been two players he’s criticized repeatedly in his postgame remarks, although obviously neither is at the star or talent level that Chandler has achieved with the Knicks.

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It’s difficult to ascertain how serious this difference of opinion is, or even if a real rift exists at all. What we do know is that as long as the losing continues, reports of fractures within the team will continue, as well.

  1. timberwolvesbrisin - Jan 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    Woodson should have been fired months ago. This guy has no control over this team, and has done a terrible job this year.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      Woody, the switching ALL the time on defense doesn’t work, especially when you leave you BIG man on the perimeter guarding a shooter, like the champion BIG man stated, we should play man to man, look at the tape there is always a guy open on the opposing team because of the switching.

    • chadley71 - Jan 22, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      name one coach that would be in control of the NY Knicks????? there are too many egos on that team to control. It’s not the coaches fault, he does need to put the “troublesome” players on the bench and give them DNP-CD. it is a TEAM sport

      • devo68 - Jan 24, 2014 at 10:58 AM

        Jeff Van Gundy. Or his brother.

  2. knicksmets - Jan 22, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    I think Chandler has a right to complain, I mean he was the defensive player of the year once so he knows defense. This year hasn’t gone their way and I really hope they can make the playoffs. It isn’t looking good for the knicks with no first round picks for a while

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      people are calling for the coach to be fired, and then what do you do?

      • knicksmets - Jan 22, 2014 at 11:05 PM

        Trade Melo and Chandler for first rounders hopefully, and start over. They aren’t winning now and I believe Melo is leaving at the end of this year. The knicks need Dolan out and an owner who can help them thrive.

  3. jolink653 - Jan 22, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    I agree with some of what Chandler said, but I really think it’s stupid of him to comment about it to reporters. The switching on defense has to stop and it’s awful to watch the mismatches develop on defense. Woodson needs to adjust and fix it or he’s gonna be out of a job.

    Chandler shouldn’t air that out though. I get the frustration about the way the Knicks have played, but you keep that in the locker room and away from the papers. The only thing this does is divide the locker room further. Now you have three noted malcontents in JR, Tyson and Udrih.

    Dammit I just want this season to be over

    • fanofthegame79 - Jan 22, 2014 at 1:14 PM

      I don’t know…I thought this article did a good job pointing out that Woodson has publically called out his players for verious reasons. I say the coaches should be held just as accountable as players – and players should have the right to call out coaches just as coaches call out players. It’s called 360-degree coaching. And Tyson, being a former DPOY, has even more of a right to discuss a lackluster defense.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      the coach isn’t realizing that Chandler is the only guy that plays defense and they give up
      sooner or later in that switching, why do you think Woody complains after they give up the
      basket, he won’t even try the man to man.

    • devo68 - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      Woodson is upset that Chandler criticized him? What a hypocrite. He’s lost the team and Dolan is clueless keeping this guy around. If he can’t adapt his philosophy to the players he’s got on the court, he’s useless.

  4. thomaskouns - Jan 22, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    Woodson may be a problem but he is way down on the list of problems for this dysfunctional franchise….

    1) worst and most in incompetent ownership in the league(Dolan)
    2) Stodemire’s albatross $20 mil per hear contract
    3) poor GM/player decisions (JR Smith 3 guaranteed) – given his track record you didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that one coming
    4) giving away your future draft picks (most if not all will be Lottery Picks) for a team that can’t make the playoffs
    5) your ‘superstar’ player doesn’t make people better around him/ play meaningful D and has never gotten beyond the second round of the playoffs on either team (Denver or Knicks)

    This roster would still be in trouble whether you have Woodson or someone else.

    • jennsanz - Jan 22, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      … respect with each other makes a better team and will help win games..

    • timberwolvesbrisin - Jan 22, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      I agree and he deserves credit for getting out of that team what he did last year, whcih made this years expectations unrealistic.. But his in-game decisions, along with overall team management has been horrible this year and I think he should be fired to try and salvage the season. If they had their draft picks, Id say just continue to tank. Trading this years first away could end up really costing this franchise a chance at a superstar.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jan 22, 2014 at 1:21 PM

        I’m not bashing on Woodson, but he didn’t do much better when he was with the Hawks. And they had decent rosters during his years (better than or at least more well-rounded than this Knicks roster).

    • cruzan80 - Jan 22, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      “has never gotten beyond the second round of the playoffs on either team (Denver or Knicks)”

      Anthony led the Nuggets to the WCF in the 2008-2009 season.

      “Stodemire’s albatross $20 mil per hear contract”

      It’s easy to criticize Stoudamire & Smiths contracts today. Hindsight is definitely 20/20. Stoudamire played & started in all 82 games in his last season as a Sun averaging 23.1 PPG & 8.9 REB. He was without question the best available PF on the market that summer. He was going to get a max contract from somebody…..If it wasn’t the Knicks….it would’ve been another team. Smith’s contract wasn’t even the biggest offer he received that summer. The Bucks were prepared to offer him 8 mil over 3 years vs the 5 mil over 3 years he received from the Knicks. The Bucks later gave that contract to O.J. Mayo instead.

      “giving away your future draft picks (most if not all will be Lottery Picks) for a team that can’t make the playoffs”

      This team won 54 games a year ago which was good for 2nd in its conference. If you wanna try & convince us that you knew that this same team minus players who are not even in the league anymore would get worst then go right ahead. Again, Captain Hindsight always sounds like a genius.

      That being said, I do agree that this current roster is a mess for any coach to handle….but with suspect starting line-ups & flawed defensive strategies…..Woodson isnt helping his own case either.

      • bougin89 - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:30 PM

        I agree with your point although Stoudemire wasn’t getting a max(ish) contract from anybody else(at least not 5 years in length). The Knicks were the only team to fully guarantee his contract even though it was uninsurable.

  5. cbking05 - Jan 22, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    5) your ‘superstar’ player doesn’t make people better around him/ play meaningful D and has never gotten beyond the second round of the playoffs on either team (Denver or Knicks) ……WHAAAAAAAAAT

    NEVER beyond the 2nd Round????????????

    Carmelo went to the Conference Finals in 2009 … Quit repeating stupid shyat other people tell you that isnt true …go find another reason to bash Carmelo

    • fanofthegame79 - Jan 22, 2014 at 1:19 PM

      While your stats are correct about Melo going to the WCF in 2009, it’s not saying much that out of 10 years in the league (this is his 11th), he’s only been passed the 2nd round once. Dolan killed this team when he decided to trade away an entire starting lineup for only Melo…

    • thomaskouns - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      1) Explain to me how he makes player’s better around him (do you even watch the games – he’s a a ‘black hole’ when he gets the ball.

      2) How is a team supposed to take defense seriously when your best player doesn’t focus on it. (Please explain why Carmelo then is an even ‘good’ defensive player (rotations, man-to-man, pick & r’s, zone, team, etc)

      • cbking05 - Jan 22, 2014 at 4:59 PM

        explain why you say that he has never been past the second round…but yet he did…

  6. fanofevilempire - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    I love that line, he doesn’t make people better, that is a really fancy line that everyone uses because it’s cute, his job isn’t to make people better, his job is a scorer and that is what he is.
    I guess Shaq missed all those foul shots because Kobe didn’t make him better on the Lakers , so glad Wade made him a better foul shooter.

  7. chilomane - Jan 22, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    Carmelo Sucks

  8. indrathegod - Jan 22, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    Chandler should have saved that remark for the locker room.

    That being said, Woodson needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror. There’s a reason for all this turmoil…and not making adjustments in a game is simply unacceptable in today’s league.

  9. odenxx - Jan 22, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    Simple, fire woodson and have Chandler be the head coach he’s smart enough and at least there won’t be any more switching or iso. Woodson is way to basic.oh and sell team to a good owner. Crazy to think that Melo only made seven extra million dollars for blowing up the team so he could be on it. sending out a bunch of good pieces that we would still have to this day.

  10. campcouch - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:16 AM

    I get a good laugh at the faces Woodson makes during a game.It’s like he can’t believe what’s going on.He is running practice isn’t he?He is using what they practiced in the game right? I think not. I have a feeling JKidd did more than just play the point last year. Might be a reason why he’s coaching this year.Maybe the Knicks should’ve hired him instead.

  11. realhonest56 - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    Get Jerry Sloan to coach the team. He will make them more accountable. They are not playing hard for Woodson any longer.

  12. 618t - Jan 24, 2014 at 8:23 AM

    If true Tyson you gotta hold comments in public. P.S. NY KNICKS move the ball around on offense. They are the worst team in the NBA Ive seen all year at shooting the ball after 1 pass.

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