Carmelo Anthony backs Mike Woodson; Tyson Chandler cites 'disconnect'
GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Mike Woodson didn't take part in Thursday's exit interviews with players, which could be an indication that he won't be part of the Knicks' future.
But Carmelo Anthony went out of his way to support Woodson and even appeared to get emotional as he talked about the embattled coach.
"To be honest with you, Mike Woodson, me and him have become . . . he's been a guy that I can talk to, he's been almost a father figure, a friend, a guy that I can bounce stuff off," Anthony said. "I've been a guy he's talked to multiple times, about multiple things in different situations.
"So when that time comes, if it's ready for me to step up and take that next step and say, 'OK, Mike Woodson needs to stay or go,' I don't think it would come down to that, but I'd back him. If he needs my recommendation, whether it's here or anywhere else, I'll back him. I support him.
"For me as a player, I had some of my best years under Mike Woodson. So I would never have anything bad to say about Mike Woodson."
Usually, the team's top executive and coach meet with players to discuss the season and future. Knicks president Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills conducted the interviews.
Woodson is signed through next season, but he said Wednesday he hopes to learn his fate soon.
Tyson Chandler said there was "some disconnect" between the players and Woodson this season. He didn't agree with Woodson's defensive philosophy of switching. After a loss to rookie coach Jason Kidd and the Nets in January, Chandler said the Knicks were "out-schemed."
Chandler said Thursday that regardless of whether Woodson is back next season, there needs to be schematic changes and "a winning culture" must be established.
"We have to alter a lot of stuff, offensively and defensively, to be quite honest," Chandler said. "If you don't, you allow history to repeat itself. So I expect a lot of changes.
"I am not in a position to say who stays and who goes. But whoever is going to be here next year needs to understand what happened this year and not allow it to repeat itself."
Chandler added, "You have to bring a winning culture, and until that's established, you could rotate players as much as you want -- it's not going to make a difference."