Knicks interim coach Mike Woodson appears to have the inside track on holding onto the job long-term -- under one condition.
He has to change agents.
As first reported by the New York Daily News, a source close to the situation told SI.com the Knicks approached Woodson about an extension eight days ago and asked him to change agents for the talks to continue. Woodson is represented by the same Glass family that represents Larry Brown, the former Knicks coach whose bitter divorce from the team in 2006 led to an $18.5-million settlement after arbitration.
With 87-year-old Joe Glass recovering from a recent pelvic injury at a rehab center, the source said Woodson has, in fact, informed his son and co-agent, Keith Glass, of his decision to part ways with the family and that he is likely to become the latest member of the Knicks to partner with the omnipresent Creative Artists Agency.
"Hey look, Mike deserves the job I'm trying to take the high road here, but I certainly won't be asking anyone at the Garden for directions," Keith Glass said when reached by SI.com.
While CAA's influence is growing throughout the NBA, the Knicks -- based on what Woodson has been telling people -- are taking it to a new level that has some of Glass' agents wondering if he should pursue a possible antitrust lawsuit. CAA represents Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, who has been adamant that Woodson should return. They also represent Knicks executive Mark Warkentien, the former Denver GM who was with Anthony in the Mile High City before signing with New York early last year.
Glass has shown a willingness to defend himself in situations like these. After he lost Kings guard Quincy Douby as a client in 2007, he was awarded $40,000 in damages from agent Andy Miller because he was found guilty of "interfering with a contractual relations claim" -- otherwise known in the industry as "poaching."
"I would do it again tomorrow," Glass said while discussing the case in October 2010. "And if other agents are reading [this story], I will do it again tomorrow. The point is that at some point somebody has to stand up and say, 'Look, as a man, I'm not Pollyanna, I know what's going on, but if you can prove it -- which is hard -- then you go and do it.'"
Woodson has no shortage of supporters within the organization, and his standing appears strong despite the Knicks' poor showing in a 4-1 first-round playoff loss to Miami. After Mike D'Antoni resigned on March 14, the Knicks went 18-6 with Woodson at the helm. His season-long impact on the team's defense coupled with his successful use of Anthony while Amar'e Stoudemire was sidelined with back problems are helping his cause, and the season-ending injuries to Jeremy Lin, Iman Shumpert and Baron Davis provided built-in excuses for why the Knicks weren't more competitive against the Heat.