So basically, I happened to catch a rerun of this show called The Game 365 on MSG yesterday evening. The 30-minute, conversation-based program featured Mike Woodson, current coach of the New York Knicks and former coach of the Atlanta Hawks. The show was reasonably interesting, but nothing I would’ve finished had there been an actual NBA game to watch. It was essentially an interview that chronicled Woodson’s basketball journey, from his days playing under Bobby Knight to his current position with the Knicks. Highlights included Woody’s account of his one and only trip to NYC’s Rucker Park, where he was heckled by the locals, and a story about Zaza Pachulia.
The Zaza story came up at the very end of the program when Woodson was prompted to discuss something surprising about his experience coaching NBA Players. He quickly selected the subject of players’ work habits and began to elaborate. “When players come to work, you don’t know what to expect,” Woodson said. “Prime example: Zaza Pachulia comes into my office…”
Zaza: Hey coach, can you let me out of practice today?
Woodson: For what?
Zaza: Man, I got a hot date.
Woodson: Are you kidding me? Do you love this girl?
Zaza: Nah coach, I can’t be in love, I’m too young.
Woodson: I take it you aren’t gonna marry this girl then?
Zaza: Nah, coach.
It was at this point that the interviewer, visibly dumbfounded by this scenario, asked, “well, did you let him go?”
“Yeah, I let him go,” said Woodson, “but only because he worked his butt off for me.”
So there you have it… the time Mike Woodson allowed Zaza Pachulia to skip practice because he had a hot date.
Oh, and don’t be getting any funny ideas, JR Smith; Woody told the interviewer it’ll never happen again.