Metta jokes beef with K-Mart was over pasta

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- That whole Kenyon Martin-Metta World Peace thing?

Chalk it up to a difference in culinary tastes.

Metta World Peace, as only he can, explained on Tuesday that his recent argument with Martin was the result of a disagreement over pasta.

We'll let him take you through it.

"We were eating pasta -- he had elbow pasta, I had shell pasta, and I told him how my shell pasta is better than his elbow pasta. And he was pretty upset about that," World Peace said. "He loves elbows pasta, but I disagree, I think shell pasta is better. I don't care. I will stand by that. Shell pasta."

ESPN New York reported on Monday that Martin and World Peace got into a "heated" disagreement during a closed practice on Sunday before the Knicks' loss to the Pelicans.

World Peace's playful explanation, of course, is pretty hilarious stuff. But a source with knowledge of the incident said the Martin-World Peace dustup was anything but a joke.

"There was no pushing or shoving, certainly no punches, but it was heated," a source said. "They were jawing at each other, and you're talking about two guys who are pretty explosive, guys you wouldn't want to mess with. It settled down, but nobody was too eager to jump in between them, let's put it that way."

Player infighting, of course, is typical of the frustration that surfaces when teams are losing. The Knicks have lost nine straight games and are tied with Milwaukee for the worst record in the Eastern Conference.

For what it's worth, Martin denied that he and World Peace had an argument. He referred to the report as "bull----."

Woody: I didn't bench Shumpert because he yelled at Melo: Television cameras showed Iman Shumpert yelling at Carmelo Anthony in the third quarter of the Knicks' loss to the Pelicans on Sunday.

The incident took place during a break in the action. Shumpert, curiously, did not return to the game following the dustup. He sat for the entire fourth quarter.

Most assumed Shumpert was being benched for what he said to Anthony -- and how he said it.

But Mike Woodson on Tuesday insisted that wasn't the case.

"That had nothing to do with anything," the coach said. "During the heat of the battle -- especially when you're losing games -- everybody points the finger and tries to reach for certain things. I'm not gonna allow that to happen with our group. We have a close-knit group."

Shumpert appeared to be upset with Anthony after Ryan Anderson, Anthony's man, hit an open 3-pointer with 5:51 to go in the third to give New Orleans a 62-58 lead.

Shumpert presumably was angry with Anthony because he felt the Knicks star should have bypassed the screen and stayed with Anderson.

Cameras showed Shumpert standing over Anthony and addressing him in a demonstrative tone as Anthony sat on the bench.

"There was a mistake that happened defensively. When that happened, there were some words exchanged," Woodson said. "But at the end of the day, hey, that's behind us and we gotta move on. That's basketball. That happens in sports. Sometimes it's healthy, I think."

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