Rick Carlisle is not a man who easily offers up compliments, especially after another disappointing loss at home. But in the middle of his post-game press conference after a 92-80 loss to the New York Knicks, Carlisle offered up unprompted support for opposing head coach Mike Woodson.
"If I could make one statement about Mike Woodson, I just marvel at the job he's doing with this team right now, given the circumstances, given all the ridiculous rumors about his job security and all the nonsense that's being stirred up in that media cesspool in New York City," he said.
The New York media has reported that Woodson is on the hot seat and that Jeff Van Gundy might be the next to replace him, which led to the absence of Gundy from the ESPN broadcast team for a Knicks game in December.
Woodson has fired back at the rumors that he might be in danger of losing his job.
"This is a man who is one of the top coaches in the league and a man of great integrity and substance," Carlisle continued. "He proved that tonight. They easily could have swept this roadtrip and this is supposedly a team that is dysfunctional and everything. He has got a great touch with that team and I got a lot of respect for the job that's he's doing."
The Knicks have now won two of their last three games, with the one loss coming to Houston 102-100 in the closing seconds.
Regardless of the outcome in New York, it's good to have support from as coach as respected as Rick Carlisle.