With Woodson out, could Williams return?

Harris Decker

USATSI_6868948_110579513_lowresThe entire Knicks coaching staff has been fired, including longtime assistant Herb Williams.

Could Williams return to sit beside the next Knicks coach, whoever that might be? There is something to be said about continuity and that’s what he provides.

It’s a question that can not actually be answered until a new coach is appointed but you’d imagine it could make a lot of sense.

Williams has been an assistant under six different head coaches, dating back to Don Chaney. No matter who is named the next head coach of the Knicks, it seems that he could win the fans over by re-hiring Herb Williams and continuing his legacy on the Knicks bench.

Knicks fire entire coaching staff, including Mike Woodson

Adam Zagoria

The 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.

Mike Woodson“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.

To read more of this story, click here

Hamilton: Knicks would be wise to hold onto Jeremy Tyler

Moke Hamilton, NBA Analyst

As he closes in on his just his 23rd birthday, the book on Jeremy Tyler’s career as a professional basketball has quite a few chapters, but he is hoping that the current one — set in New York City as a member of the Knicks — is the longest.

Jeremy Tyler media day“It’s been a great experience, being a part of such a high-profile organization, it’s such a great team, it’s been fun and a fun experience and I’m glad I’m here,” Tyler told TheKnicksBlog in a one-on-one interview.

“Hopefully, it’s an extended experience and things work out this summer.”

Tyler’s route to New York has been unconventional, to say the least. He has taken a path similar to the ones taken by some of his predecessors including Gary Neal of the Charlotte Bobcats, Brian Roberts of the New Orleans Pelicans and even another former Knick, Chris Copeland of the Indiana Pacers.

Those three are a few of many examples of current NBA players who excelled overseas before earning opportunities and multi-year contracts with NBA clubs.

Tyler is hoping to replicate that formula, and he is hoping to remain a part of the Knicks.

“I definitely learned a lot from being here from all the veterans that we’ve had and all the experiences that we’ve been through,” Tyler said of his experience as a Knick. “I definitely learned, I feel like I’m going into my summer a different player than I was last year.”

To read more of this story, click here

Projected rise in salary cap could allow Bulls, Rockets make push for Carmelo Anthony

Sam Spiegelman

The NBA has informed teams that it is projecting a $5 million rise in the salary cap for the 2014-15 season, according to ESPN. If true, it could allow clubs such as the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets more cap room to better maneuver a deal for free-agent-to-be Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony has been linked to the Bulls for some time, having a relationship with Joakim Noah, asking what it’s like to play for coach Tom Thibodeau and stating he wants to play for a contender right now.  And according to the report, the Bulls were already confident in their ability to lure Anthony to the Windy City before news there would be a rise in salary cap space.

Per the report, the Knicks’ failure to make the postseason made the Bulls “increasingly optimistic.”

As for the Rockets — the team’s financial freedom is very much contingent on its plans for center Omer Asik and guard Jeremy Lin. Both players are oft-mentioned as trading pieces, and those salaries coming off the books puts the team is a strong position to sign Anthony.

Melo Offers No Comment As Woodson Hangs in Limbo

Adam Zagoria

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.” To read more of this story, click here

Steve Kerr ‘expects’ offer to coach Knicks

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.

Kerr is a former player and general manager who now calls games for TNT. He has no coaching experience.

He was a member of the Bulls from 1993-1998, when Jackson was coaching the team, which means he’s familiar with the triangle offense.. They won three championships together.

Harris Decker

Back in March I discussed at length why Kerr was the man for the job. He played under Phil Jackson with the Bulls, understands how the game has progressed through the years as an analyst for TNT and has no coaching background. While in many cases the lack of experience on the bench would be a negative, with Jackson as the teams President it is a positive.

Jackson knows the right way and the wrong way to coach a team. He wants a coach in there that will do it his way. That’s not to say Kerr won’t have some original ideas but as we saw with Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra in Miami, this is the recipe for success.

I believe it is a all but certain that Kerr becomes the next Knicks coach. There have been no rumors about other guys on the market and while Mike Woodson is technically still employed by the Garden, it seems all but certain that will to come to an end in the coming days.

Sam Spiegelman

I like the idea of Kerr manning the Knicks’ sidelines, but I’ve got one major beef: he’s never been a head coach before.

So there’s an argument to be made that neither Mark Jackson or Jason Kidd were head coaches before they took the Warriors and Nets jobs, respectively, and Kerr could be the next point guard-turned-coach. But will a rookie head coach force ‘Melo out of town?

Kidd’s first year coaching didn’t impact Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett, and in fact they bought into it. I don’t know Kerr’s relationship with Anthony — if there even is one — but if I’m Phil Jackson I want to do what I can to keep my superstar, and that includes getting his take on who will be the next coach.

Fire Mike Woodson already!

Harris Decker

The Knicks are making me sick. Since the day Phil Jackson was hired, the writing has been on the wall in permanent ink. Mike Woodson’s days in New York are numbered and the Knicks need to make the cut now!

Mike WoodsonIt was torture to watch Woodson squirm over the past few months. He did a valiant job trying to make a run at a playoff spot but came up a few games short. Woodson deserves to be fired but I can’t imagine why it’s taking so long. There is no reason to prolong the inevitable.

Thursday morning, during the exit interviews, Woodson was nowhere to be found. According to ESPN New York’s Ian Begley, Amar’e Stoudemire said that he spoke with Steve Mills and Phil Jackson during the exit interviews and that he didn’t see Woodson at the facility. The only way I could see Woodson still being a member of the Knicks is if the team were planning to retain his services next year. I just don’t see that being the case.

While it wasn’t apparent early in the season, it was easy to see Woodson losing the locker room as the season neared it’s final days. Once again, Stoudemire didn’t hide his emotions. He told SI that, “There were times when we didn’t quite buy into it and as a result of that, we lost games.” For a star player to say that the team wasn’t “buying in” says a lot about the coach. Woodson has to go.

I’ll wonder why he wasn’t fired last night, this morning or even right as we speak for weeks. It doesn’t make sense for him to be here a minute more than is absolutely necessary and now there are no games left on the schedule, it is no longer necessary. Jackson and Mills need to take care of business and put a bow on Woodson career in New York.

TheKnicksBlog Podcast: Season in review

On this week’s show – Moke Hamilton and Harris Decker wrap up the season, recap their predictions from earlier in the year, and discuss Phil Jackson’s plan for Mike Woodson in the coming days.

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For the show rundown, click here...

  • Moke and Harris say hello
  • Knicks season in review
  • Recapping Moke and Harris’ woeful predictions (13:30)
  • Let’s get our “Weekly Phil” (20:40)
  • Why would the Knicks sign Lamar Odom?
  • Around the League – Playoff Preview (32:05)
  • Moke and Harris say goodbye

Carmelo Anthony

‘Melo says he wants to return, but wants to win

Carmelo Anthony, coming off what he said was the toughest year of his career, said he wants to return to the Knicks, but also wants to win.

“I want to come back. I want to come back. But I also want to win,” he said (Iannazzone, April 17).

He also said that he’s not concerned about money at this point in his career. ‘Melo, who can become a free agent in the offseason, can re-sign with the Knicks for the most amount of money: five-years and $129 million. But he doesn’t want to be here if the team is rebuilding.

I’m not at the point in my career where I want to rebuild,” he said (Begley, April 17). “I’m going to keep searching for the answers (to what went wrong this season).”

Anthony said that missing the playoffs this year is “embarrassing” and that he can’t take the losing.

“I don’t know if I can afford another season of losing,” ‘Melo said. (Isola, April 17)