Adam Zagoria, Team ReporterThe Knicks have fired the entire coaching staff, including Mike Woodson, team president Phil Jackson announced.
Jim Todd, Darrell Walker and Herb Williams were also relieved of their duties.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike Woodson and his entire staff,” Jackson said in a statement. “The coaches and players on this team had an extremely difficult 2013-14 season, and blame should not be put on one individual. But the time has come for change throughout the franchise as we start the journey to assess and build this team for next season and beyond.
“Everyone in this franchise owes a great deal of gratitude to what Mike and his staff have done. We wish him the best.”
The Knicks announced that a “search for a new coaching staff will begin immediately.”
Woodson, 56, has gone 109-79 in two-plus seasons with the Knicks. According to Mike Lupica of the Daily News, all Knicks coaches following Jeff Van Gundy and leading up to Woodson went 185 games under .500, while Woodson was 30 games over .500 in his Knick tenure.
But after leading the team to the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2013, Woodson’s team dealt with injuries throughout the season to Tyson Chandler, Andrea Bargnani, Raymond Felton, Kenyon Martin and others and failed to live up to expectations. The Knicks did not make the playoffs in a poor Eastern Conference, finishing in ninth place, and have no draft pick in the upcoming loaded NBA Draft.
In a recent report, Steve Kerr “absolutely expects” an offer to coach the Knicks, now that Phil Jackson is the president of the organization (Willis, April 18). If Kerr is offered the job, he would take it, an unnamed source said in the report.
Harris DeckerThis was inevitable and I’m honestly surprised it took this long. What is interesting is that with Phil Jackson, this is now going to be 100 percent his team. There’s no Herb Williams. No coaches being reassigned. They’re all out and now Jackson can begin the process of choosing replacements.
This also points to the power of Jackson. While Woodson and other may have been easy to let go of, Williams was a beloved member of the Knicks coaching staff and could have easily been kept by the next head coach. Instead, Jackson’s sweeping changes make it clear as crystal that he’s in charge and he won’t let things like friendship and loyalty stand between him and his goal of winning in New York.
Sam SpiegelmanWhen a team is as disappointing this year’s squad, falling from a No. 2 seed to out of the playoff picture, change is necessary — and that begins with the coaching staff.
Now let’s be real: the Knicks’ collapse wasn’t entirely Woodson’s fault, but when a team expected to contend fails to live up to expectations, there needs to be a scapegoat. In reality, there was inconsistent play and poor production out of a lot of key pieces, not to mention injuries. You have to wonder if Woodson allows a season like this to take place, if he’s even able to lead a championship-caliber team.
Who Jackson hand picks to be the new Knicks coach — whether it’s Steve Kerr or whomever — is going to be interesting. He has to find a coach that’ll satisfy one major criterium — making Carmelo Anthony want to stay in New York.
Frank Isola of the Daily News talks about the details surrounding Mike Woodson and his staff’s firing by Phil Jackson.