Latest News, NBA / Mar 7, 2009 / 12:49 pm

Josh Smith Clashes With Mike Woodson

Josh Smith 42-1.jpgJosh Smith

The Hawks, despite losing two in a row to the Knicks and Bobcats, are very quietly sitting at 34-28 in the upper crust of Eastern Conference playoff teams. That hasn’t stopped the drama though, evidenced by the reported clash between Josh Smith and Mike Woodson during halftime of last night’s game against Charlotte.

Just when things seem to be going really well, something like this happens. From Sekou Smith in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

What began as a promising week in Washington got downright nasty in Charlotte on Friday night after turning ugly in New York on Wednesday night.

The Hawks lost their second consecutive game to a sub-.500 opponent, dropping a 98-91 decision to the Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena.

They also lost more ground in the race for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference standings. Their lead over Miami is now just a half a game.

And Hawks coach Mike Woodson benched starting power forward Josh Smith after halftime, the result of a heated disagreement between the two in the locker room during the break.

Smith refused to comment after the game, and Woodson said it was a “coach’s decision” and that Smith’s status for tonight’s game against Detroit would be determined later.

“That was coach’s call,” Hawks captain Joe Johnson said. “This is coach’s team. Whoever he wants to play plays, and if he doesn’t want you to play, you don’t play.

Smith had 13 points, four rebounds and two blocks before leaving the game after playing only 21 minutes. But whatever transpired in the time it took the Hawks to get in and out of the locker room after halftime, changed everything.

This isn’t the first time these two have had issues and we’ve actually heard in the past from sources close to the team and players that most of the roster doesn’t care much for Woodson because of the all the offensive attention and leeway given to Joe Johnson.

Source: AJC

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  • Big Sia

    FREE J SMOOVE

  • BRUCE

    That’s why Smith season is down. He can play, he just does not like playing for Woodson.

  • Poppi GEE

    I am glad Josh is having the grapefruits to step to dude. Atl’s coach is sorry. He right up their with LeBron’s so called coach.

    Dude is like a black George Karl. His team ain’t gonna see no championship long as he coaching. Sure they will do great in the playoffs and have the pieces to make noise, but when it comes to those tough and correct decisions of who to put in and what proper play to call when the game it tight.

    You can’t always say give it to Joe. If they smart they keep Josh and get rid of Mike. Course the Hawks have a history of not being smart.

  • http://mac.cn mac

    Leeway to JJ….Are you kidding?

    He’s the only player worth giving the rock on that sorry roster. Keep him and Horford, and send Smoove and Bibby packing when the opportunity presents itself.

  • George W Kush Sr

    You can document how stupid of a coach Woodson is, he’s a joke. He absolutely has no clue what to do with his squad, alot like Curry in Detroit, but Woodson is way too stubborn in his ways to ever be able to coach properly. His decision making and in-game adjustments are horrible, I cant believe he still has a job.

  • MoxWestCoastRep

    I totally disagree. It seems like Woodson is dealing with a lot of “Me-first” players. Regardless of what they think of his coaching style Smith is a primmadonna. He gives 1/2 effort for most of the game. Why is the most athletic guy on the court shooting fade away 3s? I’m sure Woodson has called him out numerous times for playing like a b****. Wednesday night Josh had 2 boards!!! Thats unacceptable for a guy of his talent and ability. He is the classic case of “now that I got paid, i dont gotta go all out”
    Josh “The Tinman” Smith

  • http://bleacherbrothers.com/blog/ Al Qaeda Jada

    he really should’ve signed somewhere else

  • ,

    highlights

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f__WsghhCmU

    start watching from about the 1:45 mark BLOCK fest!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgL-fza2KOg

  • Bilal

    josh smith needs to grow up, hes not the best player on the hawks and until he gets some real work ethic will never become the player he has the ability to become, on most other playoff teams hed be the 3rd option and i dont see any coach taking the crap he seems to be giving woodson. can you imagine what a coach like popavich or sloan would do

  • SteveNash

    i beleive coach is playing his core guys to a degree of responsibility… who really thinks the Hawks really can win this year? Coach is feeling out Joe and feeling out his supporting cast and see their max potential…

  • rlf
  • DPGC

    Woodson ain’t a great coach, but he ain’t bad either…he’s done a good job with that team, takin the Celtics to game 7 last year and having a good record this year, you can’t take that away from him…

    Josh Smith gotta grow up, I see him rollin his eyes every game, makin funny faces and yappin & cryin…c’mon, man up! He’s a 6’8 crazy athletic dude takin 20-foot jumpshots most of the time, he doesnt go hard enough, simple as that

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    I understand that Josh Smith was a restricted free agent so it was harder for him to just say “F*** Atlanta” and walk, but he still could have handled the situation better. Why not sign a shorter offer sheet, so that even if ATL matches, you’re not locked into that situation for that long?

    What probably happened is that Smith and his people figured Woodson would get fired soon enough, they just had to wait it out, and then it would be all clear sailing. But if ATL keeps getting 4-5 seeds in the playoffs, Woodson should be safe. Either way, Smith needs to produce more; he’s a grown-up now, not the time to be sulking and blaming your coach.

  • kevin k

    Mike Woodson is an idiot. Every time Josh Smith shoots, I cringe. The offense becomes stagnant because JJ dribbles the ball for 20 seconds and then shoots a contested fadeaway.

    Hawks need to play more of an uptempo system to match their players gifts. Marvin and Al have played very well. Bibby has been playing like his old Sac days. Imagine if Josh Smith played for D’Antoni…

  • dagwaller

    JJ was 100 percent right. It’s the coach’s team, and I think that a lot of modern players forget that.

  • jzsmoove

    Toronto better figure out a way to acquire Josh Smith. If Toronto(if they get him) or ATL lands a better than average coach that likes to run on offense, Smith’s talents will be maximized.

  • HeadKicker B

    In the NBA coaching is practically irrelevent. Losing teams dont just become winners when they get a new coach. I’ve been a fan long enought to see the “Dynastic Cycle” in the NBA many times. (If you dont know what the Dynastic cycle is prepare to be schooled.)
    In ancient times in China a powerful clan would take power. The ruler of the clan would make changes that improved the quality of life and the people would love him. But over time his officials would become corrupt and lose interest in making road improvements or building dams or whatever and the people would say “Hmmm…is our ruler a good ruler after all?” Then there would be a major catastrophe like a flood or outbreak of disease and the people would say “The gods are angry at our leader and he is punishing us. Maybe the Chang clan would be better rulers.” And the people would rise up, overthrow the old clan,embrace the new clan and its ruler, and the cycle would start all over again.
    Its like that in the NBA. Lets play six degrees of coaching starting in NY. Herb Williams is the coach, the people and players lose faith in him and want him removed for a “better” coach. Larry Brown is brought in. The fans are crazy about him until the team is absolutely awful and want him fired. Isaiah steps in and people are excited about the change. Eventually he is considered the worst coach in the history of the the Knicks and he is fired and D’Antonio is brought in and the people are ecstatic (myself included). But guess what? D’Antonio was fired from his last gig because people (and players) in Phoenix were unhappy with his lack of defense! Phoenix brings in a new coach who stresses defense and the team struggles. It turns out the players dont really like play defense – they like the old style of play better. Phoenix has already fired D’Antonio’s replacement and brought in a new replacement.
    Further fun factoids: Don Nelson was replaced by Avery Johnson who wins coach of the year. Johnson faces Nelson in the playoffs and loses to Nelson in one of the greatest upsets of all time. The GS fans think Don Nelson is a genius. Two years later they want him to quit because he rests his healthy superstars to see how the 12th man plays.
    Even Further Fun Factoids: Consider Doc Rivers. Coach of the year in Orlando. Goes to Boston, struggles and fans want him fired, Ainge brings in great players and he wins a championship.
    I could go on and on but I think you get the main idea.

  • MoxWestCoastRep

    1st off that book headkicker wrote was just rediculous. I couldnt even read 2 sentences of that rambling. Why would anyone take the time to write that much? I mean, the Dime guys dont write that much in a column and they get PAID!
    Anyways, I just wanted to update this J.Smith talk. Homeboy has 7 boards and 2 blks…In the first half. I guess he got fired up after being put in time out. Which proves my point to a tee- if he wanted to he could put up monster numbers everynight. And they are beating Detroit, so there you go.

  • Mochabear

    Warriors shoulda pursued josh smith in the off season last year. Have him instead of maggete and starting? Damnnn. Him and biedrens shot blocking and scrapping. Damnnn

  • My 2 Cents

    Damn “HeadKicker B” i read the first line than moved on to the next post, that’s way too long!

    Got to agree with what “MoxWestCoastRep” said about you!

  • rlf

    dime, read the first part of this and take his advice

    http://slamonline.com/online/nba/2009/03/venting/

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Another column about LeBron, Kobe and D-Wade? I’ll pass, thanks.

  • doc

    Fuck Josh and Woodson.If he aint like the coach his ass shoulda left when he had the chance.

  • D-Lite

    Headkicker is on point, ya’ll Gen xers, mary jane heads and the Y crew too better read more than a blog or text to avoid speed bumps that us ole heads have already run over. Dude is speaking the truth. Read it one sentencae at a time and apply i tto your team whatever sport, classroom or work group!!

    Keep it real Headkicker

  • Diego

    J-Smoove finally came to play vs. Detroit. Even hit his free throws! I am by no means a Woody fan, but Woody has given Josh plenty (i.e., too much) free reign. Josh often plays and acts like a total numb nuts. (I attend almost every Hawks home game and watch most of the away on tv.)

    Good for Woody FINALLY trying to get Josh in order. Smoove should be benched a lot more than he is. Under lots of other coaches, Josh would be a Stromile Swift guy on the bench. I think he is quite the head case. And, as I have often posted, Josh is NOT a small forward-not for any NBA team! (Look folks, he is an inch shorter than Horford, weighs about the same, and is a much poorer open-court ball handler.)

    Woody actually has done a decent job this year, and frankly I wish J. Johnson were much less unselfish–he gives up way too many open looks to lesser-shooting teammates (e.g., Smoove). By the way, JJ is the Hawks’ leading assist man!