Since the 1946/47 season, the Knicks have topped the 50-win mark 13 times. Last year, Mike Woodson led New York to 54 wins, joining Jeff Van Gundy, Pat Riley, Rick Pitino, and Red Holzman as the only five head coaches in Knicks history to accomplish such a feat. The 2013/14 season offers nothing but a stark contrast in comparison to last season’s success, as Woodson’s club stands 15-27 and would have to go 35 and 5 over the remaining 40 games in order to reach 50 wins again.
Earlier in December, after a nine-game losing streak sent the Knicks to a 3-13 record over the first 16 games, Carmelo Anthony publicly admitted that he, along with a few other teammates, became worried about Woodson’s job security (Ian Begley of ESPN New York):
“Yeah, we’re worried about (Woodson’s job). But then again, we’ve got to worry about playing basketball…We can’t worry about the speculation that’s going on outside this building and we shouldn’t…And as a leader of this team, I’ll try my best not to allow that.”
Although a 6-1 record over the new year’s first seven games briefly brought the Knicks into the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, the team’s recent five-game losing streak erased most, if not all of that momentum. It’s also worth noting that Anthony and co-captain Tyson Chandler publicly made comments about lack of adjustments and being “out-schemed” respectively in recent losses to the Pacers and Nets (Marc Berman of the New York Post). Though Chandler would later insist that his comments weren’t a knock on Woodson, Anthony told Ian Begley of ESPN New York: “…whatever’s happening is going to happen and it’s out of my hands and it will get dealt with.”
Whether or not those comments allude to Woodson’s job security can be left to interpretation, though it doesn’t seem that the team’s current situation is any better than it was when Anthony had been worried about the Knicks head coach in early December. With the possibility that the Knicks star exercises an early termination option this summer, it can’t be too far-fetched to wonder if New York would consider severing ties with Woodson if it meant helping their chances at retaining Anthony, especially if the Knicks missed the playoffs or suffered an embarrassing playoff exit. What are your thoughts? At this rate, do you think Mike Woodson will be retained beyond this season?