Knicks fire head coach Mike Woodson
The Knicks finished 37-45 this season and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2009-10, leading many to believe that Woodson would be let go.
The 56-year-old was 109-79 (.580) in three seasons coaching the Knicks, a stretch that inlcuded the team's first Atlantic Division title since 1993-94 and a trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals last season. They also won their first playoff series in 13 years.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike Woodson and his entire staff,” new team president Phil 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."
Woodson, who finished third in NBA Coach of the Year voting last season, had one year and about $3.3 million left on his contract, according to the New York Post. He was a first-round pick of the Knicks in 1980 and played for them the first two years of his 11-year career.
Steve Kerr has been rumored as a possible replacement for Woodson, and is the prohibitive favorite for the job. But other names that have surfaced Monday morning include current Thunder point guard Derek Fisher and Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw — both of whom played for Jackson.
The Knicks opened the season 3-13 and never improved to better than seven games below .500 the rest of the season (15-22 on Jan. 13). They were also 19-22 at home after finishing 31-10 at Madison Square Garden in 2012-13.
Carmelo Anthony missed the playoffs for the first time in his 11-year career and can opt out of the final year on his contract this summer.
Phil Jackson: "The coaches & players on this team had an extremely difficult 2013-14 season, and blame should not be put on one individual" — Ian Begley (@IanBegley) April 21, 2014