by Yaron Weitzman / @YaronWeitzman
NEW YORK —The New York Knicks held a pre-game press conference tonight to introduce Mike Woodson as the their new interim head coach. Woodson will replace Mike D’Antoni, who resigned from the position earlier today.
Woodson was introduced by Knicks owner James Dolan, who spoke for three minutes before leaving without taking any questions, and senior vice president for basketball operations Glen Grunwald.
“He (D’Antoni) clearly felt that it was best for the organization if he were not to continue to coach the team,” Dolan said. “He did offer to stay, but after a long discussion, agreed that it was best for the team to have a new voice going forward.”
Dolan also stressed that Woodson will be reevaluated at the end of the season.
Grunwald, who took took questions from the media with Woodson after Dolan left, said he was “surprised” when D’Antoni came to him after this morning’s team shootaround and informed him that he would be resigning. Grunwald was also hesitant to pin the resignation on D’Antoni’s reportedly deteriorating relationship with Carmelo Anthony.
“It wasn’t just Carmelo,” Grunwald said. “Our whole team was not playing up to the way we thought they could. I know Mike was as frustrated as anyone with that.”
Grunwald also acknowledged that the Knicks’ constantly changing roster did not make D’Antoni’s job any easier, and described D’Antoni’s decision to resign as selfless.
Woodson was very complementary and respectful towards D’Antoni, and thanked him for giving him a job this season. He did, however, say that he would eventually make a few tactical changes.
“I’ll make changes as we go along,” Woodson said. When asked what specific ones he had in mind, Woodson mentioned giving both Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire more touches in the post.