This season, the Knicks' struggles have been highlighted by suspensions, fines, as well as player and coach criticisms, among other things. And of course, a poor showing on the court night in and night out has ultimately set the tone for quite the frustrating year thus far.
As if all of the aforementioned factors haven't been enough to leave the team in complete and utter dissaray, now one of the Knicks has issued a trade request out of the Big Apple. According to my pal Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com, Beno Udrih has had enough of the Knickerbocker mess this season.
If a team is winning and all is going well, it's easy for its players to buy into such a system and give in for the greater good of a potential NBA championship. But in New York, it can't be as easy to do that this season. All is not right with the Knicks, and Coach Mike Woodson doesn't appear to have a handle on the situation. He's unsure of which players to play when and/or with who, and seemingly has little to no idea as to how to stop the bleeding. There appears to be no end to the suffering in sight.
Udrih seems to recongize this, and is ready to wave the white flag. But in all fairness and honesty, who could blame him? The floor general has tried to do his part and make an impact in limited minutes, but has actually been marginalized all season long, even targeted as a scapegoat for some of the aforementioned struggles as well.
Clearly, Udrih is not to blame. In fact, he hasn't been given ample opportunities to thrive, which probably only negatively impacts the Knicks, in turn. A well known spot-starter and two-time NBA champ, Udrih could start and/or play major minutes for any contending team in the league today. After watching New York achieve impressive success with a trio of quality point guards last season, Udrih stood to co-exist quite well and rather efficiently with Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni.
For whatever reason, that's failed to be the case this year.
Whatever the case may be (why Coach Woodson has chosen to look away from Udrih thus far), it's safe to say the blame shouldn't be placed on Udrih himseld. With that in mind, the Knicks would be courteous to grant such a trade request.
It's not like the Knicks have counted on Udrih and he's preparing to bail on them. Instead, they've underutilized him all season, and if Coach Woodson isn't prepared to give Udrih an opportunity to help his team turn things around, it makes sense that the veteran wants to jump ship before it finally sinks once and for all.