The one where Mike Woodson let Zaza Pachulia skip practice for a “hot date”


Who says Mike Woodson is an old-school, hard-ass coach. You work hard for him, you get some perks.

Woodson, the current Knicks coach, was on “The Game 365” on MSG Network, and the show was such a snoozer that just about everybody tuned out. Everybody but the folks at, and they were rewarded with a great story from when Woodson coached the Hawks.

“When players come to work, you don’t know what to expect,” Woodson said. “Prime example: Zaza Pachulia comes into my office…”

Zaza: Hey coach, can you let me out of practice today?
Woodson: For what?
Zaza: Man, I got a hot date.
Woodson: Are you kidding me? Do you love this girl?
Zaza: Nah coach, I can’t be in love, I’m too young.
Woodson: I take it you aren’t gonna marry this girl then?
Zaza: Nah, coach.

I’m pretty sure even the Zen master Phil Jackson would have unleashed a few swear words on Pachulia at this point. Woodson?

“Yeah, I let him go,” said Woodson, “but only because he worked his butt off for me.”

Raymond Felton, I wouldn’t recommend you try this.