Trade rumors have been swirling around Iman Shumpert since the summer, and the Knicks’ 3-10 start has done nothing to dispel those rumors.
The body-language readers of the world apparently deduced that Shumpert, who was most recently linked to the Kings, quit in a loss to the Trail Blazers. The trade talk, coupled with Shumpert’s listless play, has brought on suggestions that he and coach Mike Woodson don’t like each other.
When the question was posed to Woodson at practice on Tuesday, the Knicks coach didn’t take it too well.
“If I didn’t like him, I don’t think he’d be averaging 30 minutes on my ballclub,” Woodson said, according to the New York Post. “You got to look at that. I like everybody on our team. So that perception is [expletive], if you ask me. If I didn’t think much of the man, he wouldn’t be playing. If I don’t think much of you, you’re not going to play.”
Shumpert’s scoring is down to 7.4 points per game, but he has started all 13 games the Knicks have played and he is averaging more minutes per game than at any other time in his career. If playing time is any indication, Shumpert is Woodson’s second-favorite player behind Carmelo Anthony.
Above all, though, we’re talking about whether two grown-ups who share a workplace like each other. Can we move on and be done here, please?
Apparently, Woodson thought so. After a reporter asked Woodson if he had relayed the message that he likes Shumpert to the third-year, Woodson reportedly said, “He knows how I feel. That’s all that counts,” and stormed out of the gym.