REPORT: Mike Woodson And Knicks Talking Extension
Mike Woodson is finally getting some respect. After reversing the team’s fortunes over the final third of the season, the word out of New York is that the Knicks are discussing a contract extension for at least the “foreseeable future” according to the NY Daily News.
Inserted as the Knicks head coach after Mike D’Antoni was finally canned, Woodson led the Knicks to an 18-6 record over the final 24 games and secured the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference in the playoffs.
After “Lin-sanity” had subsided, the Knicks looked DOA on most nights thanks to a litany of injuries and lack of cohesion. The departure of D’Antoni forced then assistant Woodson into action, and the team responded with its best stretch of the year.
Based on Woodson’s entire body of work as both a player and a coach, Knicks fans should be happy with the hire. Woodson played under Bobby Knight at the University of Indiana where he was also a teammate of Knicks GM Glen Grunwald. He was also a former first round pick of the Knicks back in 1980 and played in the NBA until 1991, averaging 14.0 ppg in 786 career games. In 2003-04, Woodson won a ring with the Detroit Pistons an assistant coach under Larry Brown.
From there, he took over a struggling Atlanta Hawks franchise and turned them around. In six years as head coach, he increased their win total by an average of almost seven wins per season. He led the Hawks to the playoffs in each of his final three seasons (including appearances in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in his final two years), which were the franchise’s first playoff appearances since the Lenny Wilkens era in 1998-99.
Oddly, after all the success with the Hawks, the organization chose not to re-sign him and he took a year off before joining D’Antoni’s staff in New York.
Thus far in his career as a coach, Mike Woodson has been underappreciated and overlooked. But after a late season surge in basketball’s “Mecca’, both Woodson and Knicks fans should be excited about the direction of the franchise.