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Knicks Fire Mike Woodson

The Knicks have announced the firing of coach Mike Woodson and his staff. The move has been expected nearly all season long, as the team struggled to a 37-45 record after winning 54 games and advancing to the conference semifinals last year. Woodson was under contract through next season, and presumably he’ll still receive his $3.4MM salary for 2014/15.

NBA: New York Knicks at Brooklyn NetsThe move follows a meeting between Woodson and Knicks president Phil Jackson, notes Chris Broussard of (on Twitter). It’s Jackson’s first major move with the club, which hired him to run the front office last month.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike Woodson and his entire staff,” Jackson said in the team’s statement. “The coaches and players on this team had an extremely difficult 2013/14 season, and blame should not be put on one individual. But the time has come for change throughout the franchise as we start the journey to assess and build this team for next season and beyond. Everyone in this franchise owes a great deal of gratitude to what Mike and his staff have done. We wish him the best.”

Carmelo Anthony threw his support behind Woodson last week, but it wasn’t enough to save the job of the coach who went 109-79 in parts of three seasons with the Knicks. He was an assistant coach with the Knicks when he took the head coaching job late in the 2011/12 season after the team let go of Mike D’Antoni. Woodson went 18-6 that year and guided the team to the playoffs, where they lost to the eventual champion Heat in the first round.

The narrative was a positive one for Woodson until last year’s playoff loss to the Pacers. Marc Berman of the New York Post suggested Sunday that when the Knicks exercised their 2014/15 team option on Woodson before this season began, they knew it was unlikely he’d actually coach the team that season unless the team made it to the conference finals this year. Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops reported earlier this month that the Knicks planned to fire Woodson if the team’s late push for the playoffs fell short, and indeed the ax fell soon after New York finished in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, a game out of the final playoff spot.

Assistants Herb Williams, Jim Todd, Darrell Walker, Jerry Dunn, David Hopla and LaSalle Thompson join Woodson in exiting the Knicks, who begin their search for a new head coach at once, according to the team’s statement. Steve Kerr appears to be the front-runner, though there are conflicting reports about whether he’d jump at the job.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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5 thoughts on “Knicks Fire Mike Woodson

  1. anon_coward

    not a surprise, even though Melo deserves to be let go more than woodson

  2. Brian Paolercio

    I will always be thankful for the good times, but when the bad times hit it felt like the wheels came off and he couldn’t stop the bleeding. Hopefully the rest of the team buys into this, but if JR Smith, Woodson’s pet project of sorts, buys into what Phil is doing, then I suspect a lot of the rest of the team will too.

    @anon_coward_12:disqus Melo is what he is (volume scorer, OK rebounder, OK passer when bothered, so-so defensively), and I’m not sure why you’d want him to leave for essentially nothing. He’s a leader off-the-court, just not a facilitator on the court, and he belongs on this team. If he walks I’ll understand and brace for the 13-14 Sixers-like season, but I think he can be part of the winning solution here if we can get a useful PG/facilitator on the damn roster.

    • anon_coward

      i don’t hate him, but i’d rather they have a more balanced team than one guy scoring almost all the points

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