It’s safe to say that this year hasn’t exactly gone how the New York Knicks had hoped it would. Following a season where they finished 54-28 and made the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Knicks are sitting at 20-30 with 32 games to go. They currently trail the Charlotte Bobcats by two games for the East’s eight playoff seed.
Given the huge drop-off that New York has experienced this year, somebody has to take the blame for this mess. And according to head coach Mike Woodson, that person could very well be him.
“This year has been, for me, it’s been kind of a disaster from a coaching standpoint in trying to get players to compete and play at a high level,” Woodson recently told ESPN radio. “That’s the frustrating part about it, because I know we’re better than what we’ve shown and we’ve still got a chance.”
Woodson went on to say that he thinks he and all of his assistants, except for Herb Williams, will be fired during the upcoming All-Star break. Assuming everything goes as he predicts, Williams will serve as the interim head coach, a role which he had after Lenny Wilkens resigned in 2005.
The Knicks locker room seems divided on whether or not they want Woodson to remain the head coach. J.R. Smith is one player who has publicly given his support for the embattled head coach. However, other players are reportedly tired of Woodson’s criticism of the team’s effort.
After an 11-year career as a player, Mike Woodson served as an assistant coach for several teams from 1996-2004. He then landed the Atlanta Hawks head coaching job in 2004 and compiled a 206-286 record in six seasons there. In his last three years, Woodson guided the Hawks to three straight playoff bids. But after being swept by the Orlando Magic in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals, his contract wasn’t renewed.
However, Woodson quickly found an assistant gig with the Knicks, under head coach Mike D’Antoni. When D’Antoni resigned, Woodson became the interim head coach and led New York to a 36-30 regular season record during his tenure. They would lose their first-round playoff series 4-1 to the Miami Heat.
The team got even better under him last season and tallied the aforementioned 54-28 record. Unfortunately, the Knicks seem to be regressing under Woodson in the 2013-14 season.