As the losses mount I find it extremely alarming how easily this team appears to continue to accept losing, especially at the “World’s Most Famous Arena” where their 7-14 record ranks among the league’s worse.
At this point every cliché from, “we must stick together” to “we still have time to figure this out” has been muttered by every player and coach only to watch the winning percentage nosedive further and further away from the 500 mark.
Many suggestions like firing Woodson, trading Carmelo Anthony, or changing the starting line-up/rotation has been discussed, but none of these suggestions would remedy the problem as effectively as simply making the locker room an uncomfortable place!
During his tenure as a Denver Nugget, Kenyon Martin was infamous for his locker room tirades that were usually brought on by losing, team effort, personal property being misplaced or simply holding teammates accountable for their individual play. Some would describe this kind of behavior as a bullying tactic but during his years as a Nugget, rarely did that team fail to register 50 wins, so the tactic proved correct?
As a max contract player, K-Mart had the sway to throw his weight around that Nugget locker room if he believed the team was slipping, but as a vet nearing the end in New York, that type of behavior could spell the end of his career, because he would be labeled as disruptive. But that’s exactly the kind of policing this team is in desperate need of if they hope to salvage the season.
Carmelo Anthony, who has clearly become embarrassed by all the losing evident by his facial expressions and quotes that the team doesn’t fight, would be the ideal person for the job. As the captain and most talented player, he has every right to call out his teammates in private or public if the effort isn’t there. He has every right to question coaching decisions. He has every right to have music or television in the locker room turned off after a loss and he has the right to throw a chair or break a table (just don’t do an Amare’)if his disgust is enough to spook his teammates into playing to a higher level.
Michael Jordan, who many consider the greatest, was never deemed a “nice” teammate but rather a win-at-all-cost type that wouldn’t hesitate to put hands on a teammate he believed wasn’t totally invested in the program. He was never looked upon as a bully or jerk but strictly a winner because of it.
At this point Carmelo could do himself and his team good if he could somehow channel that type of leadership displayed by Jordan or a K-Mart, because it doesn’t matter what Coach Woodson does or what Coach Woodson says, only Carmelo Anthony can rescue this team from this nightmarish season. The most effective way to do that is to make the locker room a very uncomfortable place for the unforeseen future until winning becomes the norm!