The New York Knicks announced on Monday morning that Mike Woodson has been fired as head coach. In addition to Woodson, the team has relieved the entire coaching staff of their duties
Just days after the Knicks' extremely disappointing season came to an end on Wednesday, Phil Jackson wasted no time in removing Woodson and his staff. Since Jackson was hired on March 18th to become the new Team President, it was no secret that he was going to bring his own coaching staff once the season for the Knickerbockers came to an end. It concluded a lot sooner that anyone anticipated before the season started.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike Woodson and his entire staff,” Jackson said in a press release. “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.”
The Knicks announced that a “search for a new coaching staff will begin immediately.”
Woodson finishes his two-plus seasons as the team’s head coach with a record of 109-79, including a 54-win regular season during the 2012-13 season that resulted in the team's first division title in 20 years. Woodson also guided the team to it's first playoff series victory in 13 seasons when they defeated the Boston Celtics in six games. New York wasn't able to go any farther than that as they lost in the second round to the Indiana Pacers in six games.
Woodson replaced Mike D’Antoni as the team’s interim coach on March 14, 2012 and led the team to a record of 18-5 to close out the season and earn the No.7 seed in the Eastern Conference.
J.R Smith was one of Woodson's biggest supporters, and is disappointed to see him go.
"I don't know what is fair or not," Smith told ESPN. "I'm not the person dealing with fair or not. It would've been nice to see him get another year at least, but Phil Jackson has won a lot of championships and knows basketball, so we have to trust in that."
"He was great to me. I think I got a fair shake for the first time in a while under him," Smith said. "He treated me how he wanted to be treated. It sucks, but there is nothing I can do about it."
Smith had his best season of his career in 2012-13 under Woodson as he won the NBA's Sixth Man award.
"I think he did a great job. I think he did a good job with me. He responded to the players. It's just a sad day for him, for me and my teammates."
It is widely speculated that former Bulls player and current TV announcer Steve Kerr is among the favorites to replace Woodson. Kerr