HoopsHype Mike Woodson rumors

April 18, 2014 Updates

Phil Jackson’s first real imprint on the Knicks organization will come when he names a new head coach or stuns the basketball world by retaining Mike Woodson. Among those waiting on the news is Steve Kerr, the former player and general manager turned broadcaster for TNT. According to a source close to the situation, Kerr “absolutely expects” to be offered the job. “And if he’s offered the job he’s definitely going to do it,” the source told The Post. New York Post

Phil Jackson didn’t have time for Mike Woodson during the season, and now it appears that the head coach doesn’t have time for the Knicks’ new president. The standoff between the coaching legend and the coach in limbo is apparently underway with Woodson, according to a Knicks source, informing the organization that if Jackson plans on firing him there is no reason to meet formally. New York Daily News

According to another team source, Jackson and Woodson will talk over the phone on Friday and will either plan on meeting face-to-face next week or work out of the terms of Woodson’s dismissal. Either way, Woodson almost assuredly coached his last game with the Knicks on Wednesday and will represent the first of many significant changes in the Jackson era. New York Daily News

It is obvious that Woodson didn’t appreciate being shut out by Jackson once the Zen Master joined the franchise last month as the Knicks’ newest savior. Former Knicks coach Larry Brown, Woodson’s mentor, raised that precise issue last week on SiriusXM NBA Radio when he said that Jackson is “not talking to” Woodson. “I’m sick about what’s happening with Michael,” Brown added. “He’s out on the limb and that’s not fair. For a guy that really turned that franchise around and made people proud of the way they played I don’t think he’s been treated fairly and that really bothers me.” New York Daily News

April 17, 2014 Updates

As the Knicks cleaned out their lockers while 16 other teams got ready for the playoffs, Amar’e Stoudemire had no problem discerning why his squad wasn’t among them. It wasn’t a lack of talent but a lack of leadership, an unwillingness to buy into what beleaguered Mike Woodson had been teaching. “It was an up-and-down year, midseason changes, coach Woodson put together a game plan on both ends of the basketball court and there were times that we didn’t totally buy into it,’’ Stoudemire said after Thursday’s exit interview with team president Phil Jackson. “We didn’t really focus on mastering the offensive strategies and defensive strategies,” Stoudemire said. “The mind-set is for us whatever the game plan is, we have to stick to the game plan. We’ve got to try to master it, and that way we can be playing at an extremely high level when it’s time for the postseason.’’ New York Post

Despite Woodson's stubbornness in playing Bargnani and his insistence on bigger lineups rather than the smaller ones that had better statistical success, Woodson was blunt in saying he deserved to coach the final year on his contract. "Am I the guy for the job? I'm the only guy for this job. I've always said that. I don't mean that in a braggadocios way. But I feel good about what I do as a coach. And I know the system works." Wall Street Journal

Brown, a former coach of the Knicks, has expressed his discontent with the organization of late, and the treatment of current coach Mike Woodson. He’s also been skeptical of the reasoning behind Jackson coming out of retirement as an executive, not as a coach. “If you’re going to hire Phil Jackson, who is probably as great a coach as we’ve ever had in our sport, why didn’t he coach?” He later went on saying, “If you’re going to do this job, it’s a full time job.” He continued to question the validation ofJackson’s role, saying, “To think that you can run a franchise like the Knicks, and not be there 24/7, and you’re going to do it from sitting in the stands, I don’t know if that’s going to be possible.” 1045 The Team ESPN Radio

Along with the time spent into the job, the scheme that Phil Jackson is famous for engineering and implementing (The Triangle Offense) may not translate with Coach Mike Woodson and the players on the court. “I don’t think it’s a good marriage because Phil believes in the triangle, and Mike played for Bobby Knight, who’s a huge influence on him… and I don’t think he has the same kind of philosophy Phil has.” 1045 The Team ESPN Radio

April 16, 2014 Updates

It is widely believed that Woodson, who has a contract through next season, will not return. His contact with Jackson has been minimal and a person close to Woodson says the Knicks head coach has been down the last few days, suggesting “that he knows he’s gone.” New York Daily News

The future of Herb Williams, however, is uncertain. Williams joined the Knicks coaching staff days after Jeff Van Gundy resigned in Dec. 2001 and has worked on the staffs of Don Chaney, Lenny Wilkens, Larry Brown, Isiah Thomas, Mike D’Antoni and now Woodson. New York Daily News

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