Mike Woodson once let Zaza Pachulia out of practice so that he could go on a ‘hot date’

Former Atlanta Hawks (and current New York Knicks) head coach Mike Woodson and longtime Hawk center Zaza Pachulia had an uneasy (and unfunny!) beginning to their relationship, but as time wore on Woodson grew to respect the burly Georgian center's work on the interior. He also grew to respect Zaza's work on the exterior of the team's practice walls, plying his sensual trade within the confines of the state of Georgia.

Pro Basketball Talk alerted us to a transcript of a recent Woodson interview with MSG Network, as lovingly transcribed by the good folks at NBA247365.com. In it, Woodson lets out a rather charming example of his practice leniency:

"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, either Zaza is getting his mack on during the middle of the afternoon — when practices usually take place — or Woodson is, um, "blocking" off his practices during the prime dating hours of the night. Whatever direction, this is fine work for all involved.

And if you think me using the word "mack" shows that I'm hopelessly out of fashion with current lingo, you'd be correct. Also keep in mind that Zaza Pachulia — that swingin' single in his mid-20s, dazzling urbanite with babes to spare — also says things like "hot date."

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