Mike Woodson on Carmelo Anthony: “He’s not the problem. He’s a big part of this puzzle than you can ever imagine.”March 16, 2012 – 6:40 am by Steven Cuce
Mike D’Antoni has resigned from his head coaching duties with the New York Knicks and Mike Woodson is in as his replacement. As much as the news came out of nowhere, this shouldn’t be a shock to Knicks fans. This team has played uninspiring basketball at points this season and failed to play consistently hard for D’Antoni. D’Antoni didn’t exactly got a fair shake as a head coach after dealing with roster changes and overhauls since his arrival a few years ago, but he knew what he got himself into.
The NBA is a star driven league. In the battle between Carmelo Anthony versus Mike D’Antoni the answer was simple: Melo was going to win every time. For better or for worse you can believe what you want about Anthony and his so-called attitude that is ‘bringing the ship down.’
The fact of the matter is that this roster is loaded with talent and only a select few want to play defense. It’s simply embarrassing it has come to this for the New York Knicks. Mike Woodson is grateful for another head coaching audition and believes he can turn things around quickly.
Mike Woodson joined 790 The Zone in Atlanta with 2 Live Stews to discuss being named the interim coach of the New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony not being the problem for the New York Knicks team, his plans for the Knicks offense, the differences in the Knicks offense from what Mike D’Antoni use to run, and the rumors that the Knicks are seeking out Phil Jackson as their next head coach.
How excited are you about the future of the Knicks?
“I’m very excited man. It’s good to be back in the ‘hot seat,’ so to speak. It was kind of a shock. I wasn’t expecting it to come this way, but things happen for a reason and here I am coaching the New York Knicks.”
What do you say to those people who think Carmelo Anthony has been the problem for the Knicks over the last 8 games?
“Well he’s not the problem. I mean he’s a big part of this puzzle than you can ever imagine. I want people to understand that. He and Amar’e [Stoudemire] both. I think it takes closeness. This team hadn’t been together that long. More bonding with this team has gotta happen in terms of guys really getting to know each other on and off the court. All of those intangibles add up to wins. I don’t think we really had that. Guys were scattering and going in different directions and it’s not easy managing a basketball team at this level. It looks easy on the outside looking in, but not that we had major problems. I just don’t think we were truly together as a team. That’s where I am trying to push this group of guys to be more together and more held accountable for what they do on-and-off the court and push them to play at a high level.”
What are your plans for the Knicks offense? Will the offense change from what Mike D’Antoni did?
“Well I’m sure…. every coach has different philosophies. I have a great deal of respect for Mike D’Antoni and the opportunity I had to learn from him. He’s a great coach man in terms of his offensive skills and things he likes to do from a defensive standpoint, but I learned a lot in a short period of time. Some of the things he did I will continue to use. Then there will be some things that I will tweak and add in. We were able to practice a little bit today and add a few things. I just hope I didn’t mess them up and they come out ready to play tomorrow night.”
How will this offense be different?
“Well I mean like I said I am not going to go far away from what he did. I mean he had some nice things that he did on the basketball floor. I think just getting guys committed to do it . The times that we run those sets? They gotta be committed. Then there are sets that I run. I like to think that I am pretty good offensive guy myself and there are things that I’ve accumulated over the years as a coach that I have gotten from other people that I put together myself that I will add to what I have been doing and hopefully these guys will like what we are doing and carry it over on the basketball floor.”
There are rumors that the Knicks are seeking out Phil Jackson as their next head coach. What do you do to keep this job?
“Well I can’t look at it in that light. Right now I am the head coach and every year…I remember the day in Atlanta every year they had me fired every year. We just seemed to keep ticking and moving right along and we got better every year as a basketball team. The players individually got better and that’s what I’m concerned about. I love teaching and I love seeing guys grow together and come together as a team and the one common thing we all have is that we can control our own destiny and we got an opportunity to win a game each night we step on the floor. That’s my job to push those buttons.”