New York Knicks make it official, announce Mike Woodson has been fired
With one tweet, the New York Knicks have made what has been believed to the inevitable outcome of a nightmare season an official reality. A brief statement issued via the New York Knicks PR Department’s Twitter account reported that new team president Phil Jackson has announced that Mike Woodson and his entire coaching staff have been let go, effective immediately.
April 21-Phil Jackson announced today that the team’s coaching staff have been relieved of their duties, effective immediately.
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) April 21, 2014
Jackson subsequently addressed Woodson’s firing.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike Woodson and his entire staff,” Jackson said, via ESPN.com. “The coaches and players on this team had an extremely difficult 2013-14 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.
“Everyone in this franchise owes a great deal of gratitude to what Mike and his staff have done. We wish him the best.”
Of course, the news is hardly surprising. In fact, it could be questioned why it took so long for Jackson to drop the hammer in the first place. Woodson’s tenuous grip on the job quickly transformed the beleaguered head coach into a lame duck once the Knicks became mathematically eliminated from the playoffs late in the season. In fact, Woodson’s ultimate fate can be traced back even farther and arguably was set in stone once Jackson took the reins of the organization in mid-March.
Woodson was bracing for the “worst” over the weekend. He got it.
Jackson ripped the Knicks following a blowout loss to the Lakers in late March, referring to the defeat — and maybe the team — as “awful.”
Woodson was named the Knicks head coach on March 12, 2012, compiling a 109-79 record. A 54-28 record in the 2012-13 season indicated the team was trending in the right direction, but a 37-45 campaign this past season where everything seemed to go wrong appeared to seal his fate.
Not even Carmelo Anthony coming out and publicly supporting Woodson apparently couldn’t help sway Jackson’s belief that a change was in order.
Steve Kerr, who played for Jackson during the Zen Master’s tenure as head coach with the Chicago Bulls, is believed to be the prohibitive favorite to replace Woodson.