Iman Shumpert is not very popular with the Knicks, it seems. After months of trying to trade him, after their owner James Dolan was reportedly angry with him for not going to summer league, after Mike Woodson's constant public criticism and reticence to provide him with the starting shooting guard position, the final nail may have been struck in Shumpert's time in New York on Sunday night. He did the unthinkable in this Knicks era.
He yelled at Carmelo Anthony.
It should be noted, the Knicks were 18 points better per 100 possessions with Shumpert on the floor than off defensively, and Shumpert had the highest net points per possession of any Knicks player Sunday vs. the Pelicans.
Just throwing that out there.
Shumpert did not play in the entire fourth quarter of the Knicks' loss to the Pelicans on Sunday night. He was ostensibly benched after that incident.
Hardaway is fighting for playing time with Shumpert, who got into a heated rant with Anthony on the Knicks bench during a third-quarter timeout. Anthony didn't look at him as Shumpert raved. Shumpert, who was then benched for the fourth quarter of the 103-99 loss to the Pelicans, called his tiff with Anthony "a miscommunication" on defense.
"Of course I wanted to play," Shumpert said. "Tim was making shots. J.R. [Smith] had it rolling. We were just trying to get a win."
Andrea Bargnani should have stepped up to rotate there. He also shouldn't have had to, because Anthony's switching for no apparent reason.
Melo has tried to be a leader during the Knicks' season-opening slump. He has talked about staying positive. He has held players-only meetings. He has tried to be positive. But he's also the icon of the franchise, the bee in their bonnet. And third-year defensive wings don't get to yell at megastars whose representative agency essentially runs the team.
Maybe it'll wait until Dec. 15 when contracts signed this summer are available for trade. Maybe they won't wait that long. But you just can't see Iman Shumpert being here when March 1 rolls around, Knicks turnaround or no Knicks turnaround.