Friday , May , 14 , 2010 Christopher Sells

Mike Woodson Out as Hawks Coach

How do you repay a man who returned your franchise to respectability by making back-to-back trips to the semifinals? A man who felt so strongly about the team that he sacrificed his hair and his eyebrows because of it? A man who got quite a bit out of a roster that– if we’re being honest– was pretty mediocre?

You kindly tell him that his services will no longer be required.

Mike Woodson was shown the door by the Hawks franchise Friday, ending his six year stint as the team’s head coach. His overall record (206-286, .419) is less than impressive, but one must note that the Hawks have qualified for the Playoffs in each of the last three seasons and made it to the second round in the last two. Their failure to win any of the eight second round games they played in has to be a factor in Woodson’s contract being allowed to expire.

Woodson will undoubtedly land on his feet. There are always coaching jobs available in the NBA, even if it means accepting a demotion to assistant coach. The Hawks’ future is much less certain. Most are of the opinion that Joe Johnson’s free agency will take him to greener pastures. In addition to coping with the defection of the team’s best player, the next coach will have to figure out a way to move forward with some aging pieces and some others that aren’t used to playing in the spotlight. Jamal Crawford, Josh Smith and Al Horford are all quality players, but none is ready to be the number one guy. You can’t but help wonder if Atlanta’s return to relevance has already seen its final days.