Tuesday, May 8th, 2012 at 9:30 am  |  11 responses

Report: Knicks to Offer Head Coach Mike Woodson a Contract Extension

According to the NY Daily News, the New York Knicks have begun to work on a long-term deal for head coach Mike Woodson. Looks like Rick Pitino and Phil Jackson aren’t walking through that door, Knicks fans: “Mike Woodson is moving closer to having the interim tag removed from his job title. The Knicks have initiated talks that would keep Woodson as the team’s head coach for the foreseeable future, the Daily News has learned. The talks are only in the preliminary stages but it is clear that Madison Square Garden management is convinced Woodson is the right man for the job and will not pursue either Phil Jackson or Kentucky head coach John Calipari. Woodson replaced Mike D’Antoni in March and emerged as the leading candidate to keep the job when the Knicks finished out the regular season 18-6. [...]Coincidentally, a playoff win on Sunday — the Knicks’ first since April 29th 2001 — wasn’t necessarily critical for Woodson’s job security because the club approached him about a possible extension last week. In fact, Garden chairman James Dolan met with Woodson in the head coach’s office for 45 minutes prior to the Knicks’ emotional Game 4 victory over the Heat. When asked on Monday if he believed that winning Game 4 helped his candidacy, Woodson said: ‘It’s not about Mike Woodson and my contract and where I go from here.’ Woodson has the support of several key players, most notably Carmelo Anthony. He also has a strong ally in GM Glen Grunwald, his former college teammate at Indiana. Both Grunwald and Woodson are long-time friends of former Knicks president Isiah Thomas, who serves as a de facto adviser to Dolan. Grunwald and Thomas had to convince Dolan that Woodson would be a good hire after the front office encouraged — some would say demanded — that D’Antoni add an experienced assistant coach after the Knicks were swept by the Celtics in last year’s first round. It wasn’t Woodson’s coaching acumen that concerned Dolan. It was his relationship with Larry Brown.”

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  • MikeC.

    Good to see Dolan finally making a sound decision. However, the mental picture of JR Smith trying to figure out Phil’s triangle is hilarious.

  • D-Funk

    ^ word…and IF…IF Phil eva come back Heat > NYK – Ima Lebron hater…but cuzz in tha triange offense??? – scurry (in a STL accent)

  • LA Huey

    Why don’t they at least perform some due diligence and go out and get some interviews done? Just going to start working on a long-term deal for Woodson just like that?

  • MikeC.

    @Huey – there aren’t very many good coaches out there looking for work. Woodson has earned an extension. The list of coaches that are for sure better are: Doc Rivers, Gregg Popovich, George Karl, Stan Van Gundy (maybe), Phil Jackson and Larry Brown (not going down that road again). I think Woodson is a solid choice.

  • ash

    He has done a great job for NY Knicks but I would certainly see what else is out there

  • LA Huey

    MikeC, I want the Knicks to be a legit contender. But based on Woodson’s track record with the Hawks, I can’t see them becoming more than a nuisance to the Bulls and Heat. I guess they’d still have a puncher’s chance though.

  • http://nyill.wordpress.com/ O

    This can only mean that they’ve reached out to Phil and he’s told them to hit the bricks. But on the real, Woodson seems to really have everyone’s ear and has them playing to full potential. I wouldn’t give him more than a 1-2 year extension though cause you never know when Melo will get tired of a nucca, na’mean?

  • MikeC.

    Huey – Woodson didn’t have the offensive choices he has now when he was in ATL. When the Hawks had the ball, the options were Iso-Joe, Josh Smith bad 3, or hope Horford can score on the block. Amare can pick and roll and pick and pop. Horford isn’t the finisher Amare is and Joe isn’t the anything that Melo is. Joe is a better handler and passer, but Melo is better at everything else. I want to see what Woodson can do with a more dynamic team. The Hawks were just so predictable on O. Partly due to coaching, but also due to lack of options. If Woody runs the same iso-O in NY, we’ll know what’s up.

  • LA Huey

    MikeC. I’m not confident for you guys. If I’m right, let’s hope they won’t give him more than a 2 year deal.

  • MikeC.

    @Huey – won’t matter what they give him. The only good thing about having Dolan as the owner is that he doesn’t give an eff about eating money. If they give Woodson a huge contract, they’ll eat it and fire him if they have to. Dolan was willing to eat every penny of Larry Brown’s contract but fought it in arbitration/mediation because LB broke Prince Dolan’s media policy. That fight was about saying “I’ll make you follow my rules no matter how much it costs” moreso than not wanting to pay LB to leave.

  • MikeC.

    The only unemployed coach I’d take is Jeff Van Gundy and that might just be nostalgia for the good ol’ days.