New York Knicks Fire Head Coach Mike Woodson
An era has ended in New York. According to reports, the New York Knicks have officially fired head coach Mike Woodson and his staff, drawing the end to a tough 2013-14 NBA season that saw the Knicks miss out of the playoffs.
The former Atlanta Hawks head coach spent the past three seasons as the main man on the sidelines for New York, calling the shots from 2011 to 2014. Woodson was originally brought in as an assistant under former Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni, and was then promoted to interim head coach after D’Antoni was fired midway through the 2011 season.
New York went a solid 24-18 under Woodson’s guidance to close the 2011 season, while finishing second in the Atlantic Division and even reaching post-season play. The Knicks could get bounced immediately in the first round, but Woodson’s hot run to end the year encouraged New York’s front office to keep him on.
The next season, the front office looked smart for doing so, as Woodson helped the Knicks to an impressive 54-28 record, as well as a strong first place finish atop the Atlantic Division. The Knicks were ultimately bounced again in the playoffs, but were at least able to make it to the conference semifinals before bowing out.
There was a good amount of hype entering the 2013 season, and with that hype came expectations. The Knicks battled injuries and horrible inconsistency throughout, however, giving life to rumors of Woodson being replaced mid-season. While that didn’t happen, the writing was certainly on the wall once New York reached out and brought in legendary head coach Phil Jackson to man the team’s front office.
Jackson ultimately received full power over all executive decisions and didn’t view Woodson as the guy to push Carmelo Anthony and the rest of the Knicks to the next level. More importantly, Jackson reportedly wants “his guy”, a coach that he trusts and believes in, as well as a coach that will run at least a version of his famous “Triangle” offense.
Former Chicago Bulls guard Steve Kerr, who played under Jackson for several years, is the current front-runner to become New York’s next coach. Veteran NBA coaches George Karl and Steven Van Gundy are two other big names that remain on the open market that Jackson could consider, although neither are necessarily obliged to run his preferred offensive system.
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