Larry Brown: Dolan ‘likes’ Woodson; Melo & Woody have ‘great’ relationship

Adam Zagoria, Team Reporter

Larry Brown and Mike Woodson are close friends and former colleagues who speak virtually every day.

Brown, the current SMU and former Knicks coach, is aware that the Knicks (20-32) are struggling and that there have been multiple reports indicating Woodson could soon lose his job, especially after the Knicks entered the All-Star break losing at home to the woeful Sacramento Kings.

But Brown said team owner Jim Dolan “likes” Woodson and believes he’ll “do the right thing by” him.

“I think Dolan likes Woody,” Brown, who coached the 2004 Detroit Pistons to an NBA title with Woodson on his staff, told The Knicks Blog and SNY.tv in advance of Friday’s SMU-Rutgers game. “I think he has a great relationship with him. Woody’s a strong human being, man. He just focuses on what he can do to make things better. He doesn’t look at the bad stuff.”

Dolan entered the season saying he believed the Knicks could compete for an NBA championship, but they are about as far from that as you can get right now. If the playoffs started today, the Knicks would be on the outside looking in. They also have no first-round pick in the loaded 2014 NBA Draft.

They face uncertainty regarding the future of Carmelo Anthony, who this weekend will be surrounded in New Orleans by fellow All-Stars like LeBron James and Chris Paul, who serve as reminders of what winning in the NBA looks like and are no doubt whispering in Anthony’s ear as he gets set to opt out and become a free agent this summer.

“I can’t speak for Carmelo,” Brown said. “I know Carmelo and coach have a great relationship and Woody loves him.”

He added that he doesn’t think Anthony deserves blame for the Knicks’ struggles and it has more to do with the first-half injuries to Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith, Andrea Bargnani and others.

“I don’t like Carmelo getting all the blame,” Brown said. “I read a lot of that but I love Carmelo and I know Woody thinks the world of him.”

If Woodson remains as coach through this season but the Knicks fail to make the postseason, it’s entirely possible he could lose his job over the summer.

“I think Woody and Mr. Dolan have the same goals and I trust Dolan to do the right thing by Michael,” Brown said. “And I think Michael’s OK. He’s going to work his ass off and try to win and not think about the negative stuff. And that’s the only way you can do it in New York.”

Still, Brown himself is evidence that a Knick coach can be fired after a losing season. Brown was let go following a 23-59 record in the 2005-6 season.

“I lasted one year but I didn’t do the job Woody did,” Brown said, referring to Woodson’s 54-win campaign last season. “I did a shitty job.

“But there were a lot of people that gave Dolan mixed signals about me and I’m disappointed because people can say stuff about him but he wanted to win. He tried to help me but my problem was I never communicated with him. I never told him what I was thinking and other people did. That’s the issue that bothers me about that whole situation.”

While Woodson could face a fate similar to Brown’s, the SMU coach says Woodson isn’t anxious about his future.

“I speak to him almost daily,” Brown said. “I love him. He’s family. He’s meant a lot to me. He doesn’t talk about his future; he just talks about trying to get better. He’s had numerous injuries . He’s just got to get his team healthy. They’re not far out of the playoffs and when you get in the playoffs you never know what could happen. He focuses on what he can do better now. He’s not worried about where he stands.”

Adam Zagoria covers the New York Knicks and Big East hoops for NBA.com and SNY.tv. He also appears as a Big East Basketball Insider on SNY and 1050 ESPN Radio. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.




84 comments
Kvdaone
Kvdaone

I dont believe Woody and Melo have the greatest basketball relationship. I believe Melo supports him heavy bcuz he doesnt want the rep of being a coach killer at this point

yikes
yikes

why would dolan care at this point, the place is packed every night, team is #1 in value win or lose, he laughs all the way to the bank.  he pockets woodsons salary this year, and cans him in the offseason.  playoffs are a remote chance, but dolan doesnt care..


life of a knick fan sigh

buddhabing
buddhabing

Coaches are a fraternity. Rarely if ever you hear one advocating firing another.. It's not in their DNA. These reassurances and endorsements from other coaches mean nothing. Consider the source.

mrbill
mrbill

Dolan likes Woody.  Isn't that a special thought for this Valentine's Day?

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

Best thing Steve Mlills has done this season, call up tyler...and not give  up 1st rounders for faried/lowry.  I don't trust mills as GM but at least he stuck to his guns twice on both deals.

ENGLBERT_HUMPERDINK
ENGLBERT_HUMPERDINK

Well let's be honest with each other now....

The title of this post says all you need to know.

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

Melo also said the organization should want to do whatever it takes to be a contender.-Al Iannazzone twitter. 

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

Marc J. Spears ‏@SpearsNBAYahoo

On Woodson, Melo says the coach will be at Knicks practice on Monday.



FML

Seth Plaut
Seth Plaut

I am probably rooting for a loss until Woody is fired, and yes as a fan I have the prerogative to do so.

orlando_knickfan
orlando_knickfan

I thought Melo's comments on sportscenter were very interesting.

On the surface it seems like he wants to bolt, but I got a different vibe.

Said he will test free agency and wants to bring people to NY.

Said if he needs to become a free agent to do that then that is what he will do.

Basically said everyone saw how electrifying NY can be if you're winning and that should be a draw.

That doesn't sound like a guy ready to bounce

onewhoknix
onewhoknix

Woodson in practice:

Player A: What do I do against a pick and roll coach?

Woody: Switch everything,...Next question.

Player B: How should we handle opposing team posting up on the block?

Woody: Double without even thinking.

Player B: Even if its...say..Cody Zeller, someone who doesn't have post moves?

Woody: DId I stutter?! Double everything!

Player C: Wont that free up the three pointer if we pointlessly double?

Woody: Its my job to worry about that. You stick to playing some and I'll stick to coaching some.

Player D: Coach, I have a real good motion play I saw the Spurs run and it free'd up Parker for the game winner!

Woody: You stupid SOB. The play is to get it to Melo at all costs. Id rather have him jabstep 30 times and shoot a double-team'd 20 footer than let you take the shot! Also Raymond did you buy that shoe polish I asked for? My beard is starting to fade!

rico
rico

Dolan may not be a wise man , but he cares, if for nothing else than vanity. He's reviled by us Knick fans and he desperately wants validation.

He's the goofball son who tries too hard because it's about he wants to be da man. Similar model as George Bush II.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@Biggie  

He hasn't consulted with TKB JR. Assistant GM trainees, so it will be a great surprise to him when it happens.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@buddhabing  

You have to understand the reality of the NBA where players have long term guaranteed contracts and coaches are expendable. Coaches have little power over players in an organization that is dysfunctional, like the Dolan Knicks.

Mike Woodson is a dead man walking. His assistants do not have contracts for next season. Most of the players do know and realize there will be a new coach next year. Woody can call a play or preach defense, but there is little he can do to enforce it on the players. Do you really think he coaches JR and Melo to take difficult, long, contested two pointers.

You hear him and some of the players talk about moving the ball and following the game plan. You hear other coaches talking about the same thing during their timeouts. If the ball doesn't move, it's not Woody's fault, but he gets blamed for it.

That's why coaches don't criticize each other. They know that the players will often ignore the plans and go out with a different approach.

buddhabing
buddhabing

@MeloStat301  I think Mills just deals with the administrative side of things. To expect him to make trades or roster moves is fruitless in my opinion.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@SheSaidSpikeWho  

Yeah, like when he forced a trade here, rather than come as a free agent. That would have made a world of difference. I'll believe it when I see it. Given that the Knicks are well over the cap, taking less won't make much of a difference at all.

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

@SheSaidSpikeWho Sandro/Irvin (knickster) ect. ect. YOU listening??  LOL.


Pretty Big news.  Although saying/doing are two different things, but he didn't need to come out and say that.

SheSaidSpikeWho
SheSaidSpikeWho

@Seth Plaut  Losses won't get him fired. You might as well root for victories. It will be the same result just with a W. Honestly, it shouldn't take us losing to see that Woody isn't good enough. We had the same problems last year.

madskills
madskills

@Seth Plaut  IMO, at this point in the season they might as well let Woodson ride it out and then bring in a new coach for next season.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@Seth Plaut  Yet he won't get fired...might as well root for your team to win.

It's not like our "rooting" has a strong say in the matter.

madskills
madskills

@orlando_knickfan  Unless he plans on taking less money, what would becoming a free agent this summer have to do with attracting players to NY?

buddhabing
buddhabing

@Biggie @SheSaidSpikeWho  What if Melo comes to Dolan with an ultimatum? Hire a competent GM with a plan or i'm outta here. Wonder what Dolan would do?

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

@Biggie @SheSaidSpikeWho Exactly...FO calls melo asks him who does he want to bring in w him, he has to know...he needs to take less dollars, to make it happen.  Now that he says "with out a doubt" he would take less to give knicks flexability...the FO cant mess this up.  Have to present him a plan, and also ask him what players does he think can help him bring a title.

Seth Plaut
Seth Plaut

@Biggie @Seth Plaut  Who died and decided you can determine who is an appropriate fan or not? Perhaps we despise you, because you attempt to place a Dolan spin on everything. Get off your high horse, you are just as much of a fan as I.

solar_lion
solar_lion

@VerySilentJay @Seth PlautJust rooting for the team to make the playoffs and not gift the Nuggets an unprotected 1st round pick this year. If the Pacers or Heat murder the Knicks in the playoffs, I will root for that to translate into Woody being shown the door.

buddhabing
buddhabing

@Biggie @buddhabing  If that's the case Melo should do it because if it's left to Dolan Melo will not ever win a championship. Ask for a GM with no connections to current administration. It would really surprise me if Dolan complied with those demands. On top of that ask for a new team president like when they had Dave Checkkets and he hired the GM. The further away you push Dolan from day to day operations the better. 

SheSaidSpikeWho
SheSaidSpikeWho

@Seth Plaut @Kiyan Carter  I don't think Woody will be here next season. However, they need to do something because don't think for one second Carmelo will be OK with not making the playoffs for the first time in his career. 

solar_lion
solar_lion

@Seth Plaut @BiggieYour entitled to your position. I just don't think this org will fire Woody. He'll be let go, if anything at seasons end. I certainly hope that is the end result.

Seth Plaut
Seth Plaut

@Biggie  Miserable? If you label me as such an individual, because I disagree with your basketball philosophy, that simply makes you repugnant, and unintelligent. Moreover, please learn to write grammatically correct before replying, it scorches my eyes with pain.

Seth Plaut
Seth Plaut

@Kiyan Carter  Because this team will go nowhere with Woodt as coach. At least if we lose, he will not return next season.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@solar_lion @VerySilentJay @Seth Plaut  It's all about money and Melo. Dolan's got both for the time being.

Dolan's happy with the amount of money he's raking in and with his favorite pplayer, rendering the team's results moot.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@solar_lion @VerySilentJay @Seth Plaut  Lethargic would be the right word imo.

I'd add to that list negligent as well. A nice complement.

I think Dolan is content with Melo on his team plus the millions his Knicks give him without putting much care on how the team fares.

I think Mills was placed in a tight spot and his job seems to be more of a behind the curtains type of guy while being a good little soldier, pretty much turning him into the perfect employee.

madskills
madskills

@solar_lion @Kiyan Carter  It could be the plan. That would surely "make up" for him forcing his way here instead of waiting for free agency the first time. If he doesn't leave money on the table I can't be mad at him though. It will be interesting to see how this plays out that's for sure.

solar_lion
solar_lion

@Kiyan Carter Could be that resigning hear on slightly less money than the max and with the expirings in 2015 opens up enough cap room for 2 marquee free agents. That could be what the organization is planning and Melo is in on it. I surely hope so. But I've experienced alot of disappointment as a Knicks fan.