Wilkens reportedly out as Knicks coach
New York, NY (Sports Network) – New York Knicks head coach Lenny Wilkens is
expected to announce his resignation on Saturday. Several publications in New
York have stated that the 67-year-old Hall of Famer came to the decision after
a meeting with team president Isiah Thomas following Friday’s heartbreaking
92-91 loss to the Houston Rockets at Madison Square Garden,
“Lenny is doing some thinking,” Thomas told reporters after the meeting.
“We’ll see where he is [this] morning. This is a tough situation. I would
imagine he’s in the thought process where Hubie Brown was in his thought
Brown quit as Grizzlies coach in November, citing health reasons and a loss of
passion for the game.
Wilkens’ resignation comes on the heels of a brutal stretch for the Knicks,
who have dropped five straight and nine of their last 10, while falling five
games under .500 (17-22) and into third place in the weak Atlantic Division.
Wilkens, who still has two years and $10 million left on his contract, is both
the winningest and losingest coach in NBA history, going 1,332-1,155 in 32
seasons with Seattle, Portland, Cleveland, Atlanta, Toronto and New York.
According to the New York papers, Thomas will name former Knicks player and
current Wilkens assistant Herb Williams as the interim head coach. Williams
guided the Knicks to a win last season when Don Chaney was fired and
eventually replaced by Wilkens.
Wilkens guided the Knicks to a 23-19 record last season and took them to the
playoffs for the first time since 2001. New York was then swept by New Jersey
in the first round.
If Wilkens does resign, it will mark the first time in his legendary coaching
career that he has stepped down or been fired in mid-season.