HoopsHype James Dolan rumors

January 10, 2014 Updates

A source said Dolan was disappointed at J.R. Smith’s “betrayal’’ instragram after shelling out — including luxury tax penalties — $2.1 million for Chris Smith, whom most scouts believe is a D-League talent. Most people who cross Dolan never get back in his good graces, but it’s unclear if this constitutes irreparable damage. Smith said after the Miami game he’s unsure of his future with the franchise as the club can trade him starting Wednesday under a quirk in the collective bargaining agreement, but his three-year, $19 million pact is very likely untradeable. The Knicks are capable at shooting guard with improving Iman Shumpert and impressive rookie Tim Hardaway Jr., but could need Smith’s potential explosiveness down the road. New York Post

January 5, 2014 Updates

If there's one thing Larry Brown learned during his 26-year NBA coaching career, it's the importance of having a good relationship with the guy who signs the checks. "Everywhere I've ever been, if the head coach and the owner have a good relationship and are honest with each other and they know exactly what their goals [and values] are, you're going to be successful," Brown said in a phone interview earlier this week. So what about Mike Woodson's relationship with New York Knicks owner James Dolan? Brown, who said he speaks to Woodson nearly every day, said he believes the Knicks' coach and owner have a "great" relationship. "I think Mike and Mr. Dolan have that kind of relationship," said Brown, a former Knicks coach himself. "And I think that's a good thing." ESPN.com

December 30, 2013 Updates
December 27, 2013 Updates

Mike Woodson looks to be out of the woods for now. Knicks owner James Dolan spoke to the team Thursday, a day after the 29-point loss to the Thunder on Christmas Day, to assure the players there is going to be no coaching change — or even trades – in the near future, The Post has confirmed. It appears to be an attempt by Dolan to quell the perception he is about to whack Knicks coach Mike Woodson after an 9-19 start and to get the players to rally around the coach. Assistant GM Allan Houston and president Steve Mills also attended the practice. New York Post

New York Knicks owner James Dolan told his players that no trades or coaching changes are imminent, a person familiar with the meeting told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the private meeting with players at Thursday's practice. The beat-up and beat-down Knicks have been a huge disappointment this season. But even at 9-19, they are three games behind the Toronto Raptors for first place in the Atlantic Division and 2½ games behind the Boston Celtics for eighth USA Today Sports

December 13, 2013 Updates
December 11, 2013 Updates

Thibs has two seasons left on his Bulls deal after this one, true, but there is said to be enough lingering friction between the coach and GM Gar Forman to the point that you can picture it eventually sparking some sort of mutual parting. Throw in the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Derrick Rose's health, rising fears that Thibs’ beloved Luol Deng is a certainty to relocate in free agency next summer (if not sooner) and the occasional grumble in circulation about some of the Bulls’ players chafing at how hard Thibs pushes them in practice and there's clearly something there when coaching insiders tip you to keep your eye on Thibs to the Knicks. ESPN.com

My sense from the latest coaching scuttle is that Woodson, even if he survives the crisis at hand, is only going to last until Dolan can find a bigger, splashier name to take over. The belief here is that the Knicks’ impresario, given his lack of draft and trade assets to make impactful changes to the talent, ultimately wants a superstar coach as much as he wants to re-sign Melo come July. Which is where Thibodeau comes in. Extricating Thibodeau from his Bulls contract in the coming offseason would by no means be easy. The Bulls, as we know them now, wouldn’t be the Bulls without him. And Thibodeau, obviously, would have to want to leave Chicago for New York. ESPN.com

The Post reported Van Gundy would be considered by owner James Dolan for a future job after being on the outs with the Garden for a long while. Van Gundy would be very hesitant to take any coaching job midseason, but could be interested next year and would want more input in personnel matters. New York Post

December 10, 2013 Updates

At least one player, according to a source, was also involved in a meeting that, for Woodson, must have been as pleasant as root canal. The Knicks’ two-game winning streak against bottom feeders Brooklyn and Orlando was a distant memory after Woodson’s club failed to compete against the Celtics, the top team in the Atlantic Division, which is allegedly rebuilding. New York Daily News

“I’m still the head coach,” Woodson said following Monday’s practice. “And I’m still going to push guys to play at a high level. Players have got to do their part as well. We can’t have games like that. That’s no fun for anybody.” Woodson later said: “I am privileged to have this job. I feel very privileged to have been given this job. Every day that I come to work, I work. I don’t take days off. I put my time in. I think my preparation is great with my staff. And we try to get our guys to play at a high level. Unfortunately, we haven’t had a lot of the pieces.” New York Daily News

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