In an interview with Dwight Howard during the off-season, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith revealed that owner James Dolan has been looking to trade Iman Shumpert. While the statement caught most fans off guard, Shumpert has been in the middle of trade talks since and it has affected his performance on the court.
After losing nine straight games, the Knicks have won two straight games against the Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic by an average of 34 points. While the entire team has played well, Shumpert has found himself again by being angry at the world via ESPN New York’s Ian Begley:
“Honestly, I’m just kind of pissed off, that’s all. So you just play like that. I felt like people were laughing at my team and I don’t like it.”
In the third quarter, Shumpert drove the lane and posterized Jameer Nelson and Maurice Harkless. While he described it as “just a dunk,” it was a response to the trade rumors that have surrounded him since the off-season. With newfound energy on both ends of the court, head coach Mike Woodson says the third-year guard can continue being mad at the world if he keeps playing at a high-level.
In 18 games this season, Shumpert is averaging 7.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists.