Apr 21 2014, 6:24pm CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
This was confirmed by KnicksNow.com in an April 21 update:
"New York Knickerbockers president Phil Jackson announced today that the team's coaching staff have been relieved of their duties, effective immediately.
"'I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike Woodson and his entire staff. The coaches and players on this team had an extremely difficult 2013-14 season, and blame should not be put on one indiividual.
"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.'"
Former Chicago Bulls point guard and Phoenix Suns general manager Steve Kerr, who played for Jackson from 1993-98, expects to be seriously considered as new Knicks head coach, per SiriusXM Radio (via ESPN New York's Ian Begley).
"I do anticipate talking with Phil Jackson at some point. When that time comes, it will come. For now, there's really not a whole lot to talk about.
"It's going to be very interesting. My name is being thrown around. I do anticipate at least being a part of the conversation and we'll see where it all goes.
"Yeah, yeah and I've been pretty open about that the last few years and I think that obviously that's one of the reasons that this is all out there. When the time comes, I'll be interested.
"Coaches basically know when they go in that they are likely to be fired. It's a brutal business, it's a brutal profession. I think back to a year ago when the Knicks were one of the best stories in the league, they won 54 games, I thought Mike Woodson was one of the top coaches in the league.
"He did a fantastic job and then everything fell apart this year for a number of reasons."
Begley reached out to Woodson, who said he was "doing fine."
"I'm in my office packing as we speak. I'm not really entertaining anything with the media right now. I'm just trying to clear my head.
"That's what I'm doing...I'm fine. I have been doing this for a long time I'm good, really good. It's time to move on."
He had a year left on the three-year deal he signed prior to the 2011-12 NBA season, per the ESPN New York update.
The New York Times' Scott Caciola spoke with New York forward Carmelo Anthony just four days before Woodson's dismissal. Anthony said he would back up his now former head coach.
"I would back him. I mean, if he needs my recommendation, whether it's here or anywhere else, I'll back him. I have nothing bad to say about Mike Woodson.
"I support him, and for me, as a player, I had some of my best years under Mike Woodson."
Woodson was first hired by the Knicks' brass three years ago as an assistant under Mike D'Antoni. After D'Antoni resigned in March 2012, Woodson took over on an interim basis and led New York to an 18-6 record to close out the regular season, per The Associated Press' Brian Mahoney (via Yahoo! Sports).
After leading the Knicks to an Atlantic Division title and a victory over the Boston Celtics in their playoff series last season, general manager Steve Mills picked up Woodson's option on his contract for 2014-15 before the current season kicked off, Mahoney adds.
Things haven't been the same since New York's 54-28 record in 2012-13.
The Knicks limped off to a 3-13 start this season and even fell 19 games below .500 at one point. They managed to win 12 of 15 games in March to make a run for the playoffs before finishing 37-45 and relinquishing the eighth and final seed to the Atlanta Hawks -- Woodson's former team -- per Begley.
Cacciola stresses injuries to key players such as Tyson Chandler and Andrea Bargnani as well as lack of veteran leadership took a toll on New York's disappointing season.
Woodson finishes his Knicks head coaching career with a win-loss record of 109-79 (.580). The team will immediately begin searching for a new coaching staff, according to the KnicksNow.com press release.
Source: NBC Sports
Source: Bleacher Report
Source: CBS New York
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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