It was already common knowledge that Iman Shumpert and the New York Knicks weren’t going to be an item forever, but his departure through a trade might be getting closer because he dared raise his voice to Carmelo Anthony in the most recent of Knicks debacles, resulting in Shumpert being benched for the rest of the game.
The Knicks have now lost nine straight games, the most recent of them coming against the New Orleans Pelicans. After Anthony put on yet another demonstration of just how not to play defense in the NBA, Iman Shumpert got quite cross with him on the bench and had an exchange of words with the Knicks’ franchise player.
The result? Shumpert sat out for the entire fourth quarter, while Tim Hardaway Jr., playing quite well recently, got the chance to take his place in the lineup, finishing with 21 points. Shumpert later called it a miscommunication, praising both Hardaway and J.R. Smith who were playing in front of him, but it’s quite clear to everyone that if he wouldn’t have snapped at ‘Melo, he would have gotten more minutes in the final quarter.
Is Shumpert out the door? Very close to it. The Knicks have been trying to shop him for over a month, not getting any offers they really like while trying to see if somehow they’re going to get out of this slump even without Tyson Chandler on the floor. However, the thing with Shumpert goes back to last season, and the most recent losing streak isn’t really helping the chemistry within the locker room. Kenyon Martin and Metta World Peace, not two guys who are ever afraid to speak their minds, got into some heated argument before the game. The two later settled whatever bothered them peacefully.
But Shumpert? Some might say that crossing Anthony was the last straw. The franchise is going to do whatever it can to keep Anthony on the team as he can head into free agency this summer, so if it means sending a now blacklisted Shumpert away, so be it. They just shouldn’t be surprised if the few guys still putting in some kind of effort realize that you can get away with being completely lazy on defense if you have the right name on your back.