Mike Woodson is your coach of the New York Knicks. Mostly because Carmelo Anthony actually played hard for him, which led to a good record to close out the season. He got the team to play defense, so he gets another shot at this motley roster.
But there was a point earlier in the season it was assumed the Knicks would reach out to Phil Jackson to come in and be the team’s savior.
They didn’t (or at least not formally), and Woodson told ESPN Radio in New York that worked for him. (Via Sports Radio Interviews)
“Well I am glad they didn’t. [Laughs] I got a great respect for Phil and what he has done over the years and he’s an excellent coach, but again I don’t call those shots. Mr.Dolan made the decision to bring me back and that’s how it was. I was able to negotiate a fair contract. I’ll be back coaching the Knicks next season.”
I still think that there was some back channel conversations where the Knicks learned Jackson was not walking through that door. So they moved on.
Woodson also denies the report he had to fire his agent to make owner James Dolan happy so he could keep the job.
Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.
He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:
In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”
“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.
The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.
Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.
Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.
General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.
McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.