The Atlanta Hawks did away with Mike Woodson two years ago, as if their ails were his doing. In truth, he made the best of a flawed roster. Woodson has done the same with the New Knicks in replacing Mike D’Antoni. And although they are on the verge of being knocked out of the playoffs tonight by the Miami Heat, Woodson apparently has shown enough to merit the job on a permanent basis.
Talk about landing on your feet. Let’s see: He could be coach of the Hawks, who are mired in slightly above average mode with no real prospects for advancement, limited resources to acquire new talent and a fickle fan base. Or he could be coach of the Knicks, an iconic franchise in the world’s greatest city with vast financial resources and perhaps the most loyal and largest fan base in the NBA — not to mention a roster with two all-stars in Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire and other young talent.
Yeah, Woody is making out all right.
He injected a defensive mindset into a struggling team and maximized the talent at his disposal. As a result, the Knicks went 18-6 under his direction.
Knicks owner James Dolan has told Woodson that he will be re-signed as head coach, according to the New York Post. It helped that Woodson helped the Knicks end a dubious NBA record — 13 straight playoff defeats. The Knicks defeated Miami in Game 4 of their first-round series, an event that touched off a wild celebration.
Speculation was that Dolan would contact 11-time champion coach Phil Jackson about returning to the league. But Jackson, who has six titles with the Chicago Bulls and five with the Los Angeles Lakers, did not seem to be interested in departing from retired life.