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Mike Woodson Reportedly Confronted Tyson Chandler over Comments About Defense

New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson greets center Tyson Chandler (6) as he comes out of the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, April 7, 2013. New York won 125-120. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press
Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2014

NBA teams are never truly lost so long as they stand together.

Related: The New York Knicks are lost.

That much became clear during their 103-80 home loss to the Brooklyn Nets, after which Tyson Chandler openly criticized the Knicks' defensive strategy, per Newsday's Al Iannazzone:

Some thought Chandler's comments were directed at head coach Mike Woodson, the defensive specialist who isn't. And apparently, according to the New York Daily News' Frank Isola, Woodson himself thought so, too:

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.

Not so sure we can call Chandler's shot a "subtle" one, since it's become this big of a public issue.

For those wondering exactly what Chandler said on Monday, Isola has you covered: "I don’t want to switch. I personally don’t like it. You come with a defensive plan and then every guy kind of mans up and takes his responsibility. I think switching should always be your last resort. That’s me, personally."

Chandler's distaste for New York's defense is understandable and, frankly, is to be expected from a former Defensive Player of the Year turned lone preventive lifeline on a team that ranks 27th in defensive efficiency.

The diagnosis he provides is very real. The Knicks switch on everything. 

Everything.

They're supposed to, at least. Oftentimes, only one player rotates while the other inadvertently double-teams the same man or stands in no man's land with a glazed look on his face, watching as the opposition puts in easy buckets.

Andrea Bargnani knows what we're talking about.

Still, Woodson wasn't happy with Chandler voicing his concerns publicly.

"I talk about it. I don’t think it’s something you air in the paper," Woodson said of Chandler's pointed criticism, per the New York Post's Fred Kerber. "You got issues, you hold your coach and your teammates accountable and you air it out amongst yourself."

As in, "Shut up, Tyson."

Woodson wasn't all shaking fists and red-hot anger, though, noting these exchanges can sometimes be a good thing.

"Players get upset," he said, via Isola. "Coaches get upset... Sometimes it’s healthy when players get upset like that."

Perhaps that's what he discussed with Chandler during their (potentially heated) powwow. Maybe they even created a new defensive strategy—you know, one that actually works.

Knicks fans, and advocates of watchable basketball, can only hope.

 

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