Who could have seen Woodson being fired? O.K. EVERYONE. Coach Mike Woodson was terminated Monday from his head coaching position in New York after two and a half seasons. He was the assistant coach in 2011, but became the head coach on an interim basis after Mike D’Antoni stepped down. At first Woodson looked like he was going to bring a championship home for NY. In 2012-2013 the Knicks won 54 games, a division title, and their first playoff series win since 1999. Last years’ promising season turned into a disastrous 37 game win season this year. NY managed to fall so low, at one point they were 19 games below .500. After the news was released of being relinquished of his position Woodson said he is “doing fine”
Yesterday, Phil Jackson, spoke of former Coach Woodson. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike Woodson and his entire staff. The coaches and players on this team had an extremely difficult 2013-2014 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”.
So the question now is, who’s filling the shoes for the head coaching position? Since Phil Jackson took over as President of the Knicks, reports came out of Phil wanting to hire his former player Steve Kerr. Kerr played for Jackson in Chicago from ’93-’98, where they won three championships. Kerr knows the triangular offense inside/out, which is the biggest criteria for Jackson that his new coach needs to understand. Kerr is currently an NBA analyst for TNT. Last week during one of his SiriusXM segments he said “I do anticipate talking with Phil Jackson at some point. When that time comes, it will come”. He also told ESPN Chicago’s Carmen and Jurko Show, he has a desire to coach in the NBA.
Can a great coach get the Knicks on track? Banking on the Knicks staying healthy, I do not see any reason they couldn’t pull it off. Hardaway Jr. has shown to be a prolific player. He was runner up for the 2013-2014 rookie of the year award. The only improvement he can make is on defense. The Knicks are in need of another Shump type: good perimeter defense and electric on offense. Tim Hardaway Jr. will be addressing the defensive improvements, and no doubt will become that all around player. Come next year he will be a dangerous threat to opposing teams.
No guarantee Kerr will be the head coach next season, as he’s still working. My guess, it’s a lock that Steve Kerr will be coaching the Knicks next season. Projected success rate? Let’s see. Right now we don’t know whether or not Melo is staying, which obviously is a huge factor in the teams future accomplishments.