November 11, 2003 -- CLEVELAND - Don Chaney yesterday exploded during a wild seven-minute tirade aimed at a small group of writers who've questioned his two fourth-quarter benchings of Dikembe Mutombo. "You guys are driving me [bleeping] crazy," Chaney said, before the Knicks were embarrassed by the Cavaliers 94-80. "It's not about Dikembe. I'm coaching the team. I'm telling you if there's a matchup problem, and you still don't understand it. Why should I waste my breath.
"I'm trying to help you guys out. You write about the game but evidently you don't know the game," Chaney continued. "You ask me questions. I'm trying to give you an idea of what it's about and you still don't listen to me. I don't like wasting my time. If you ask me something, you should listen to me or you should watch the game. That's all I want you to do."
The Knicks are now 2-5, with Chaney's Knick record at 59-93.
Chaney has not been happy with criticism of his benching Mutombo in the fourth quarter when the Bucks went small twice in four days. The Knicks lost both games. Mutombo played 23 minutes last night and sat the entire fourth quarter.
"You have a hard time understanding why I can't put Dikembe on the perimeter guarding a quicker, faster guy. I don't understand that. You know it's not a good matchup. Why should I do it? Why should you guys drag it on? It doesn't make sense what you're saying. He could just about guard anybody in the league but he can't guard a forward who's mobile. You see the game and understand the game and you ask me and I tell you and you write the same thing, it drives me crazy because it's wasting my time."
When a writer said Allan Houston has noted that "Deke" can handle smaller lineups, Chaney snapped, "I'm telling you as a coach. I study the game. I know this game. He cannot guard smaller quicker guys. Next time we play a game watch the game, watch him and his matchups. Please do that. Write what you see. Not what you hear."
With Mutombo on the bench, the Knicks gave up five offensive rebounds in the final quarter of Saturday's loss to the Bucks. Chaney said those boards
were long rebounds that Mutombo wouldn't have gotten.
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