Melo Offers No Comment As Woodson Hangs in Limbo

Adam Zagoria, Team Reporter

Melo CliffWith Mike Woodson’s status still unresolved heading into the Easter weekend, Carmelo Anthony offered no comment other than a smile when asked about the coach’s future with the Knicks.

“He’s gotta go, guys,” someone near Anthony said as the Knicks star was whisked away Friday night following the Jordan Brand Classic at Barclays Center.

The person was referring to Anthony’s imminent departure from the media, not Woodson’s fate with the Knicks.

Anthony was on hand to support the event and offer MVP awards to Duke-bound big man Jahlil Okafor and Kansas pledge Cliff Alexander, both of whom are projected lottery picks in the 2015 NBA Draft, when the Knicks will have a pick, as opposed to 2014, when they do not.

“They stellar. They aint the top of the crop for no reason, so I think they very impressive today,” Anthony told SNY.tv of the big men. “Without a doubt [they can play in the NBA], without a doubt.”

The Knicks have yet to issue a statement on Woodson’s future and we may have to wait through the weekend and possibly into next week before finding out what Knicks President Phil Jackson will do next.

ESPN.com offered the headline that Woodson is “bracing for the worst” despite the fact that it’s painfully obvious Woodson will likely lose his job after the the team failed to make the postseason following a 54-win season a year ago.

“You can point the fingers in a lot of directions,” Woodson, who has one year remaining on his contract, said Wednesday before coaching what may be his last game with the team, a win over the Toronto Raptors. “At the end of the day, normally the coach is the guy who gets blamed. That’s just the nature of our sport.”

Attention has already turned to Woodson’s successor, with TNT analyst and former GM Steve Kerr a potential candidate because of his ties to Jackson and his familiarity with the triangle offense.

The New York Post sited a source close to the situation as saying that Kerr “absolutely expects” to be offered the job.

Last month, Kerr confirmed to SNY.tv and The Knicks Blog that he would like to coach in the NBA at some point but he did not wish to comment on the Knicks’ situation.

“Yeah, I’ve said that publicly many times but, I’m not going to even go down that path for obvious reasons,” Kerr said.

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 is 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.

Still, they finished strongly, winning four straight and seven of nine to finish 37-45.

Though Woodson appeared to be undercut by recent comments from Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire, Anthony backed Woodson during his exit interview with the press on Thursday.

“If he needs my recommendation whether it’s here or anywhere else, I’ll back him,” said Anthony, who intends to opt out and test free agency. “I have nothing bad to say about Mike Woodson. I support him. For me as a player, I had some of my best years under Mike Woodson.”

Still, that may not be enough for Jackson to keep Woodson going forward.

Asked Wednesday if it was fair that he might be fired, Woodson said, “I mean, not really. I was given an opportunity two years ago to take over a a team that was struggling and I made the most of it. Unfortunately, this year just didn’t go according to plan.

“Is it fair to let me go? I don’t think so, but I don’t make that decision. That’s gotta come from the top.”

Photo: Mike Scotto

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.




227 comments
Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

I'd say this place has gone to the dogs, but it would be insulting to dogs.

lindro88
lindro88

Hate to say this, but after watching that idiotic pep rally in Toronto, I was glad to see Pierce shut all those people up. They found a way to make a lifelong Pierce hater root for the man. Nets will win that series in 5

Art Perez
Art Perez

@melo7  Let me clarify first, I'm not defending Bigz when I say the following. I read this blog a lot and notice there's a  a tendency to label someone when one doesn't like what another has posted.


You call Biggie a hater because he expressed HIS opinion on how he viewed the Raptors effort against the Nets (whom is number 2 on my Eastern Conference Playofff Most Hated Teams list).. As I said I've been reading here a lot (over 5 years) and know Biggie has done and continues to do his share of labeling.. But it' seems (imo) because of his optimistic views on the Knicks he's a homer, unrealistic, unknowledgable, etc. 


The question is when is someone going to be the bigger person and move on from this childish itsh. I know most are young internet thugs (young relative to me as in 20's and 30's) and it kills me at times because most are probably scared of their own shadows.I'm not talking about you directly @melo7 , there are plenty I who I can call out by name but it accomplishes nothing. In a prior thread Bigz said let bygones be bygones, move on and keep it basketball.. but yet here it starts again... 


I wonder if the losing culture surrounding the Knicks organization extends to their fans. I mean who complains about winning? I look forward to better times so that the "environment" of this blog changes to where more constructive discourse is the norm, as it once was.

melo7
melo7

If the knicks do sign pau then either bargs tyson or stat gotta go. Who you think it is and who do you think is the easiest

chudogz1
chudogz1

#FIREBALDY.... Over the phone is fine, Phil...

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

There must be a Pacer fan somewhere, wanting to fire Vogel for not playing Copeland after he went off offensively in the last game of the regular season.

mel brown
mel brown

I'm not sold on Mark Jackson as a viable option for the Knicks.   He allows his players to go NUT on the offensive end. 

Seth Plaut
Seth Plaut

Cannot wait for Kerr as coach, I think he is going to strive here. VERY smart player, and knows the game.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@kingkiyan  

Dragic, from the guard position, shot 50% from the field and 40% from from deep. He scored 20.3 ppg on14.4 shots. When he was on the court per 100 possessions, the Suns outscored their opponents by 10 points.


BiggieTKBNY
BiggieTKBNY

@BiggieTKB  Whoever you are... you need to cut it out and stop stealing my User name


It's pathetic how far you Knick haters have gone to damage my name on this blog smh.

knicksgirl35
knicksgirl35

@BiggieTKB  I am ecstatic that the Pacers lost.  Immature prima donnas---highly overrated coach. 

Ray Jorge
Ray Jorge

@BiggieTKB LOL Biggs! Keep blogging these other teams blogs so we can embarrass some of our bloggers! All these I want Melo traded idiots! You want stars who don't have the "Mental Toughness" to produce during the playoffs? Paul George is simply an above average role player! Marc Gasol K Love Aldridge are not pieces you tear down your team for! Like S.A.S says "THEIR NOT BOX OFFICE"!!! KOBE MELO LBJ DURANT DUNCAN(only with Pop's system) are game changer players once surrounded by those other B rated players! The thought of getting rid of Melo because he could not will our guards to shoot higher than 30% collectively is asinine! Combined that with our guards being one of the worst defenders is insane! Some of these knucklehead bloggers are just motivated by their irrational emotions for the hate they have for Melo connecting him to J Lin departure! Hey I like  Lin(awesome story) & wish he was a Knick but he got his money! My focus is on winning a championship & you win by building around consistent "MENTALLY STRONG" players like MELO not the other B rated players! Surround Melo with the right role players(like last year) & watch us flourish!!!

melo7
melo7

This was cute

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

I read below and I don't see any "let bygones be bygones" attitude, just the same name-calling and insult-slinging as before...from both sides.

melo7
melo7

So that gives them 23% chance! what chance do the knicks have! Stop being such a hater I'm biggest knick fan in the world but stop bitching about other teams cuz the knicks aren't in the playoffs this year.

melo7
melo7

Oh your just realized that?

mel brown
mel brown

@Seth Plaut Knowing the game and having the ability to galvanize grown men are two different things. 


What's in doubt is the latter.  

lindro88
lindro88

So who is the real Biggie?

Art Perez
Art Perez

@ Ray Jorge damn shame I can only rec/like this once... +10000000000

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

Reveling in other teams' failures so as to deflect attention away from/minimize the Knicks' debacle. No one is giving props to the Nets/Hawks, both of whom lost their best frontcourt players for the majority of the season.

melo7
melo7

To where and for who

jeandd323
jeandd323

@BiggieTKB

Vogel schemes are less than intelligent - a dig back at this arrogant slob for making fun of our knicks last year ...


He went for attaining basket ball genius heights in the beginning of the season to very woodson-esque  status right now! 

redhorse
redhorse

I see that but its like u dont acknowledge the fact that run with lin changed a lot of things n it did save our season that yr..wat was our record before that run??.... when melo amare went down who would of thought that unit would even do anything...

redhorse
redhorse

I agree he isnt like the missing piece but during that streak guys like walker, jefferies were doing great...it was team bball...it was fun to watch...I just dont get y ppl hate him...it wasnt his fault that it got out of hand he just balled man...

redhorse
redhorse

Without that win streak we would of had the same thing this year... and consider the fact who was playing during that win streak... yea it is a race thing with lin ...u see it all the time in the park...so im sure it hsppens in the nba...

redhorse
redhorse

I honestly do not get y ppl hate lin... sure it was overhyped but it was such a good underdog story... ppl forget the knicks were pretty much dead till that winning streak... n ppl like bill walker, novak , fields, jared jeffery was playing out of their minds... personally I think its a race thing with certain ppl.. yea it can work the other way;)

melo7
melo7

@BiggieTKB MANY REVEL ON THE KNICKS FAILURES CUZ THEY FAILED THIS YEAR STRAIGHT UP NO WAY AROUND IT STOP BEING A BITCH ABOUT IT THERES ALWAYS NEXT YEAR 

darealeric
darealeric

Like when we lost game 1 AT HOME to Indy last year? Played with no spirit or fight either...

melo7
melo7

@BiggieTKB thats not my point my point is that your saying the raptors should be bashed just cuz they lost one game of a 7 game series when they were favored 

your contradicting 

melo7
melo7

You favorited the knicks to be the 3 seed so you deserve to get "slammed"

and again I'm a huge knick fan I'm not like sandro I'm just calling it how it is you actually out to Don sandro for ridiculousness

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@kingkiyan  

Please..... LeBron had one the best seasons of all-time last year. Melo had a great season, but he was not the MVP.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@BiggieTKB  

I think the Hawks are very underrated. They did get hot down the stretch and thumped in Indiana on the road 107-88 a few weeks back. That game was no fluke. They finished the season 7-3.

The Pacers finished the season 4-6 and Bird may have tinkered too much with his trades. They are in trouble.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@BiggieTKB  

It will save Indiana money, though. I'd have LeBron-Durant 1st, Blake-Melo 2nd, and Love-Davis 3rd.

jeandd323
jeandd323

@Sandro Guedes @mel brown @Seth Plaut

 No last minute clock management snafus,

No idiotic substitutions patterns, 

no ISO Melo and ISO Stats, 

no JR throwing bricks after bricks, 

no fat and  lazy Felton as a perennial starter, 

No opposing point guard having career games against us nite after nite

No switching defense

No deer in the head light comments after games "It is on me because I did not prepare the team" 

Maybe Orange uniform her and there and certainly NO WOODSON 

mel brown
mel brown

@Sandro Guedes @mel brown@Seth Plaut Inferencing skills should come easy for a young man as yourself. 


Especially, if you a teacher of kids.  Critical thinking skills/inferencing skills are a must. 


All you need to do is infer....that's what I taught kids.

mel brown
mel brown

@Sandro Guedes @mel brown@Seth Plaut I would suggest that Woodson "knows" the game considering he has 30+ years of experience.  


However, he is liable for what transpired this year and the previous 1.5 years (good years).

mel brown
mel brown

@Sandro Guedes @mel brown@Seth Plaut If the "at least" notion comes into play next season we will see a repeat of this year. 


If you know one Iota about coaching.....it's that players have to buy into what you are selling. 


You can know the game but that won't translate into win unless you can get buy-in from the multi-millionaire egos in the locker room. 


Learn basketball....