New York Knicks Coach Mike Woodson was fired Monday by Phil Jackson who took over as president of the team a month ago.
“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.”
Woodson was fired with one year remaining on a three-year contract.
Woodson was reportedly packing his belongings at the training facility in Tarrytown and declined comment.
“I’ve got to clear my head first before making any comments,” Woodson told The Post.
Knicks fire coach Mike Woodson: 'Time has come for change' http://t.co/6S8YBnzZN1 pic.twitter.com/BdEFscb0qC
— CTV National News (@CTVNationalNews) April 21, 2014
The move was an anticipated one when 13-time NBA champion (11 titles as a coach) Jackson took the reins in March, looking to bring in his own staff and implement a triangle offense.
"…We start the journey to assess and build this team for next season and beyond."- Phil Jackson. pic.twitter.com/RsCMFC0BW6
— NYKNotifi (@NYKNotifi) April 21, 2014
The rest of the coaching staff — assistants Jim Todd, Herb Williams, Darrell Walker and LaSalle Thompson — were also let go by Jackson, according to the team.
The firing comes after the team fell from division champions to out of the playoffs in one season.
Fans seem to agree with the move. They began chanting “Fire Woodson’’ in November when the Knicks found themselves at a 3-13 start. But Knicks owner James Dolan stuck it out with Woodson during the disappointing season.
The Knicks finished the season 37-45 and missed the playoffs.
According to the Knicks’ press release, “In parts of three seasons with the Knicks, Woodson compiled an overall record of 109-79 (.580) that included two consecutive NBA Playoff appearances and an Atlantic Division title – the team’s first in 19 years. On Mar. 19, 2014, he became just the seventh coach in franchise history to reach the century mark in victories. Initially named Knicks interim head coach with 24 games remaining in the 2011-12 season, Woodson completed his ninth season at the helm of an NBA franchise, posting a record of 315-365.”
Jackson will begin the search for Woodson’s replacement immediately.
Image via Wikimedia Commons