OKLAHOMA CITY -- Mike Woodson believes he has the support of the organization and thinks he will be coaching the Knicks after this weekend's All-Star break. "Sure I do," he said. "Sure I expect to be coaching, absolutely."
Speculation remains that he could be dismissed before the Feb. 20 trade deadline. But he's tuning it out, and he said he has the backing of Knicks brass.
"I think so," Woodson said. "I'm still coaching the Knicks, that's kind of how I'm looking at it. If I didn't have the support, I would probably be looking for a job. That's not the case. Guys are in my corner. I just got to keep pushing guys and trying to do my job to the best of my ability."
But the Pistons fired Maurice Cheeks yesterday after two straight wins, and they are 11/2 games ahead of the Knicks. Woodson might not be able to afford more bad losses or an extended losing streak.
His players, especially Carmelo Anthony, continue to play hard. Anthony also defended Woodson after the Knicks beat Denver on Friday. "The team has never really quit," Woodson said. "Our team has been competitive. We've just been kind of in peaks and valleys."
Woodson said he hasn't discussed his situation with the players, and added that he isn't coaching any differently. "They know it's dangling," he said. "My theme to our players is that Woodson's a big boy. He's been around the block a few times. It's a part of the business, if it happens. It's never been about me."
Metta: Learn from it
Metta World Peace said the three-game suspension given to Oklahoma State forward Marcus Smart for shoving a fan during Saturday's game at Texas Tech should be a learning experience that prepares him better for the NBA.
"Hopefully, when he does become a pro, he'll be able to withstand the fans that's actually rooting against him on the road," he said. "It was a lesson learned early and I think that emotion and that fire could just be directed toward winning on the court instead of directed other ways."
World Peace ran into the stands in Detroit after a fan threw a cup of Diet Coke on him, inciting the Malice at the Palace in November 2004. But he said you "can't really learn much from things that's out of your control, but you can become more conscious. You become more wise as you get older."
He said the fan apologized to him a few years later and they're "cool" now. How would he react if the incident happened today? "If you threw a beer on me, I probably would put you in a chokehold right now," he said. "And then we would go for some ice cream later, but I would tell you how much of an [expletive] you were."
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