Herb Williams Rumors
Ian Begley: Ex-#Knicks Patrick Ewing and Herb Williams are also in attendance at Anthony Mason’s funeral. Ex-Knick coach Pat Riley spoke at the service.
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.
Sources say the All-Star break would be the ideal time for the Knicks to make a midseason change, if they elect to do so. The move would allow a new assistant coaching staff and Williams to become acclimated with each other while the team is off from Feb. 13-18. The Knicks have three games left before the break, at home tonight against Denver, at Oklahoma City on Sunday and back home against Sacramento next Wednesday. Losses in all three would likely seal Woodson’s fate.
If the Knicks were to make a coaching change, one team source indicated that Herb Williams and Allan Houston could both be promoted to the roles of head coach and assistant head coach, respectively. Whether that change suddenly turns Chandler into a better help defender and Felton into a serviceable and in-shape point guard remains to be seen.
According to the source the Knicks have plotted ending the tenure of head coach Mike Woodson and nearly his entire staff of assistants. With no high-profile coach interested in stepping into this situation right now, the source said that the team has discussed a plan to keep assistant coach Herb Williams and elevate him to the top spot in an interim, reaching out to a number of candidates to fill the staff out.
If they don’t, anyone can see what’s coming: Mike Woodson gets fired, company man Herb Williams becomes the interim coach and the drumbeat begins in the background for John Calipari to make his long-awaited return to the NBA. You don’t have to be an NBA executive to see that coming, but I asked some, and they see it, too. The payroll is maxed out through next season, the tools for tax teams to acquire players in sign-and-trades next summer are gone and it’s not like the Knicks can sell anyone on a fallback plan of reloading with a lottery pick in the coveted 2014 draft. The Knicks’ pick goes to Denver (from the Anthony trade) or to Orlando (if it’s worse than the Nuggets’ pick).
A source said Mike D’Antoni’s assistant coaches — Dan D’Antoni, Phil Weber, Herb Williams and Kenny Atkinson — have signed contract extensions for next season, though the club has not and will not announce it. D’Antoni has plans to add another defensive assistant to the staff.