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Knicks fire Mike Woodson

Apr 21, 2014, 10:01 AM EDT

New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets Getty Images

In a surprise to nobody, the Knicks have fired Mike Woodson.

The team made the announcement Monday morning. Not only did Woodson lead New York to a disappointing season that ended short of the playoffs, the Knicks hired Phil Jackson as their president, and he’ll surely want to hire his own coach. So, this writing has been on the wall for a while.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike Woodson and his entire staff,” Jackson said in a released 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 entire assistant coaching staff was let go as well.

By all accounts, Steve Kerr is set to become the Knicks’ next coach. He lacks coaching experience, but he’s well-versed in Jackson’s desired triangle system. Together, they could help turn around the Knicks, though it’s unclear exactly how involved Jackson will be.

Woodson helped the Hawks rise through the Eastern Conference before guiding New York to its best season in years last season. He finishes with a 109-79 record in New York, the best winning percentage by a Knicks coach since Jeff Van Gundy.

I suspect Woodson’s head-coaching career is not over. For all his head-scratching decisions and allegiances, maybe he just needs a fresh start with a new roster.

The Knicks could use a fresh start, too, but their roster full of hefty contracts will keep them from turning over too much. This, though, is at least a start in the right direction.

  1. jhb64 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    I hope jr smith is next

    • Kevin S. - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:38 AM

      He could easily wind up being the last man remaining on this roster.

      • ranfan12 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        You never know. PJ might want to shake things up

      • Kevin S. - Apr 21, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        I suppose it’s possible they waive him via stretch provision, but that’s about the only way he’s leaving this team in the next two years.

  2. cmart0907 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    Everybody seen this coming sooner or later. Great call by Phil. Just wipe the whole staff out and start fresh.

    • sportsfan18 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:21 AM

      too bad they can’t do that to the roster too…

      J.R. Smith and Melo, if he stays, are NOT Triangle type of players…

      New coaches will only be able to do so much until they get team basketball players and ones who care about defense too…

      Look what the Spurs did against the Mavs at the end of their game yesterday. The Mavs are one of the top offensive teams this past season and the Spurs shut them down.

      The Mavs were tied for 2nd in the league in points per 100 possessions. They were tied for 2nd with the Heat. The Spurs went on like a 19 to 4 run to end the game and it was their DEFENSE that lead to the win for them as they were behind and needed stops…

      And stops they got as they limited the Mavs to ONLY 4 points over the final 7 min’s and 45 seconds of the game…

      Phil, get some guys who think doing that to an opponent is cool please… Guys who share the ball, but with a purpose and hustle all the time…

      • unxpexted1 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:29 AM

        Really, Michael and Kobe weren’t “triangle guys” as well. Both were very skilled iso players that phil used to maximize with the triangle. It’s really going to be with Melo’s age, does he have the mentality at this point in his career to adapt to it. But form a skillset standpoint there is not much difference in their offense skillset and styles pre-Phil.

      • stayhigh_247 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        You guys talk about the triangle like its some mythical power only Phil can summon. Lots of teams run aspects of the triangle everyday. Sporstfan not sure what you mean by “triangle types of players” but i’m sure JR isn’t a Phil type of player. Melo will be just fine in this system if decides to stick around and wait. People say he should go to Houston but its harder to win in the west and how would the Harden, Howard, Anthony big 3 coexist? Not impossible but I don’t see it. Either way he has to take a leap of faith by staying in NY and hoping Phil can make something out of nothing, or see if he & D Rose can get it done in Chicago. L.A is in shambles for the foreseeable future so you can cross that out. What people fail to realize is that Tex Winters taught those Bulls/Lakers teams the triangle, which is why Phil had him on his bench for over 20 years.

      • bougin89 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        Melo can’t play in a triangle offense? With the high elbow post ups against smaller players? I get you re-post the same stuff about Melo relentlessly but take an unbiased look at Melo for once, he’s not as bad as you claim he is.

      • jimeejohnson - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:10 AM

        He’s one of the best in the league.

      • cruzan80 - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM

        @ bougin89

        “but take an unbiased look at Melo for once”

        That sir….is an impossible request to ask from a HATER such as “sportsfan7” as I like to call him.

        We’ve seen this movie before….Michael & Kobe where both called “ball hogs” & “selfish” before Phil took over. Just like MJ’s & Kobe’s haters…they’ll all run & hide once proven wrong.

  3. clevelandschronic2 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    This still wont fix a damn thing. No draft picks, no cap room mean there is no quick fix. With or without melo this team wont be title contenders let alone be the best team in the state(Brooklyn)

    • sportsfan18 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:22 AM

      funny how people thumb this down when it’s the same as saying 1 plus 1 equals 2.

      Just because people do NOT like hearing, reading, seeing something does NOT make it wrong, false or untrue…

      • jimeejohnson - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        You’re right, but I can still thumb it down. 1+1 = 2 is a fact, but these posts are opinion.

      • sportsfan18 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:54 AM

        but MANY of these posts contain facts that people blatantly disregard…

        folks can’t admit when they’re wrong and Heaven forbid if someone actually corrects someone on here…

        I just say good catch… I make a lot of mistakes in life but one of them isn’t complaining about having my mistakes pointed out by others as it was ME who made the mistake…

      • cruzan80 - Apr 21, 2014 at 4:22 PM

        “NO team with Melo is going to win a title”

        this is NOT a fact…its the opinion of hater….nothing else.

  4. opinevain - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Melo is gone.

    • sportsfan18 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      The Knicks better hope so… NO team with Melo is going to win a title…

      • bjerkrulez - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:02 PM

        Melo at his best is a 1 on 1 player and NY fans must accept the fact that he is a one dimensional player. He cannot score without the hogging ball and that is the opposite of the triangle. He has to work on screens to be open and gasp (share the ball!). If you are going to compare him to MJ forget about it, MJ went out of the triangle only when he knows that his shots are falling (plus, he plays defense unlike Melo).

      • money2long - Apr 21, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        What’s people’s definition of hogging the ball ????
        If u all WATCHED Carmelo I bet you wouldn’t use that word.
        Melos game involves quick strikes.
        He is a quick decision maker. If all ur basing ur “hogging” definition on is shot attempts then please turn on five Knicks games and then readjust your word choice.

  5. spursareold - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    The NOT surprise of the season.

  6. chip56 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    The only actual upsetting part of this is that Herb Williams will no longer be part of the organization after some 20 years as a player, coach and post-season hair stylist to Patrick Ewing.

    • majorhavoc83 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:08 AM

      Agree. He is the one guy I’m sorry to see let go. I would like to lobby for Phil to hire Clyde, though! :-)

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      If he cut down Shumpert’s hair he can leave.

    • jolink653 - Apr 21, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      It is upsetting, but also a sign that Phil has complete autonomy in the front office. Herb Williams was forced by Dolan onto every coach that has been here in the last ten years. If Phil has the authority to dump Williams, it could really mean Dolan is getting out of his way and letting him do whatever he feels is necessary

  7. dysraw1 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    Woody you did a hell of a job. Phil is gonna be hard pressed, to fill your shoes. so sorry the organization let you down

    • spursareold - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:56 AM

      How can he do a hell of a job when his players heard what he said and then just did what they wanted anyway?

      This was inevitable, and was solidified by Amare’s interview.

  8. eugenesaxe1 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    What took them so long?

    • money2long - Apr 21, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      Firing woody when they still had a small percentage chance of making the post season would have been detrimental to that run. Coaching changes are big Ripple makers and that would have been what people pointed to had it happened and the Knicks missed the playoffs. It was best to keep things as is and see how far they could have gone.

      • eugenesaxe1 - Apr 21, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        I meant what took them so long once the season ended. Everyone knew it was coming, get it done and don’t take any press away from the playoffs.

  9. loungefly74 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    is Zeke available? hehe…

  10. mortalkondek - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    Come back to Detroit, Mike. We need you.

  11. kb2408 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    Next up Steve Kerr. Melo still should go to Chicago.

  12. bjerkrulez - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    Melo for Kobe – win/win situation for both teams (Melo in his prime while Kobe can be on a win now situation with NY)
    Pau Gasol signing as a FA (he loves PJ)

    Odom has been signed so why not build a core that lived the triangle.

    • spursareold - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      LOL. NY won’t be in a “win now” situation for years.

      • bjerkrulez - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:00 PM

        At least they somehow have a chance unlike the current roster. They spent too much for Melo and Amare – two players that don’t play defense their whole careers and defense is a MUST come playoff time

    • kb2408 - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      Melo for Kobe?! Kobe will play 20 years for the LAKERS and then retire. The ONLY way he would ever get traded is if he demands it.

      • bjerkrulez - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        at least NY has a chance to win a title that it has been missing for quite a while now

      • mackcarrington - Apr 21, 2014 at 7:32 PM

        No. Jeanie Buss is on record as saying the Lakers want Kobe to have a “farewell tour” as a Laker.
        He can pout till his face turns Laker purple. They aren’t trading him no after what.

  13. rodyaugu - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Knicks fans always exaggerate things. Last season they said woodson is a better coach than Spo, now he’s the worst coach in the nba.

  14. tominma - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    I think much of this will depend on if Jackson has a freehand without interference by Charlie Dolan. I mean, look at Comcast!! LOL

    Being a Celtics fan, I HOPE it works out because the NBA is never healthier than when Knicks, Celtics and Lakers have strong teams.

  15. csbanter - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    Woodson is good man, he just didn’t get the job done. New regime mean changes in any business. Woody would make a good bench coach. Drawing up defensive schemes for teams that don’t play defense, think Golden State, Phoenix, Clippers.

    • abchome - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:47 PM

      Golden State and Clippers are 3rd and 7th in defensive rating.

  16. bjerkrulez - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Bargnani was the real deal…with him gone, they could not win lmao

  17. tombstone7 - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Melo should do the same as PJ. Start over Chi-Town…Da Bulls should get rid of BOOZER!

    • money2long - Apr 21, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      Is this boozer’s last series playing for Chicago ?

      • cruzan80 - Apr 21, 2014 at 4:24 PM


  18. bjerkrulez - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    Melo – great scorer (that’s it and nothing more to offer)

    • money2long - Apr 21, 2014 at 5:24 PM

      Considering scoring is half the game.
      Let’s also throw in his Rebounding
      His ability to play inside and outside
      His Iq
      His ability to open things up for his teammates
      His clutchness

  19. southbeachtalent - Apr 21, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    dumpster fire..

  20. bballhistorian - Apr 21, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Its going to take about 2 more yrs until Phil Jackson completely un-does James Dolan’s transactions. Bottom line, if James Dolan stays away from basketball decisions in the future, then I’ll actually give the Knicks hope.

    And Carmelo needs to hurry up and figure out what to do next year.

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