5 Possible Replacements for New York Knicks Coach Mike Woodson
Finding Mike Woodson's Replacement
This week's losses have not only been detrimental to any chance Mike Woodson had of keeping his job with the New York Knicks, they've cemented his departure. With each loss, the firing of Woodson seems to draw nearer and nearer. It's a surprise that Woodson still has a job, actually. Granted, the team has been poorly constructed and completely worthy of a 21-38 record. But, Woodson has done as bad a job as any head coach in the NBA.
The Knicks are still mathematically in the playoff race and if they strung together some wins, they could gain some ground on the Eastern Conference. But even so, there's no way this team can compete at all in the first round of the playoffs and it seems as though the players have already realized that. J.R. Smith took a shot at the heart of the team following Friday's loss to the Golden State Warriors. Not that Smith has the right to say anything about the hearts of players with the headband-pulling and shoelace-untying antics he pulls from week to week. But he's right. This team can't close games and can't seem to win one at all lately. It's all due to a lack of determination.
The Knicks have lost their last five games and are currently 2-11 in their last 13 games. It's a good thing the month of February is over because if it lasted the season, they probably wouldn't win another game. A lot has to do with their lack of motivation and the weakness in all parts of their lineup. They pretty much have no quality play from the bench and their lack of a good point guard really hurts them. But this team is what it is and it should be competing better, especially on defense. It all stems from the head coach who is there to get his players to compete.
Mike Woodson's time in New York is as good as done and it's puzzling as to how he's still the head coach. His questionable decisions late in games alone have sealed his fate and it's just foolish to let him stick around at this point. The players are done with him and they aren't going to give quality effort when a guy like Woodson is still telling them what to do. The Knicks need to find a replacement, so here are five guys who can have the job, starting from least likely to most likely a possibility.
5. Phil Jackson
This one is a bit of a stretch, but there seems to always be talk of Phil Jackson coming to New York to coach the Knicks. Jackson has been out of basketball for three years and there are concerns about his health after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Jackson is one of the best coaches of all-time and the Knicks would be lucky to land him. Depending on how Jackson is doing with his treatment, the Knicks will definitely give him a call this summer. If he has any desire to come back, the Knicks could be a good spot for him.
4. Mark Jackson
It's no secret that the Knicks wanted Mark Jackson to coach the team just before they brought Mike D'Antoni on board in 2008. Jackson's been doing well with the Warriors, coaching them to a 36-23 record in this his third year with the team. If he can do that in the tough Western Conference, I wonder what he could do with a decent team in the East. Not that the Knicks are decent by any stretch of the imagination, but with a few changes, they can be competitive. Jackson is from New York and played at St. John's. Maybe he returns back to his hometown if the Knicks come calling.
3. Allan Houston
This is an interesting one. Allan Houston is currently the assistant general manager for the Knicks and there were rumors back in December that Houston could step in if Woodson was fired. Not only would Knick fans love for Houston to return to the court as a coach, it may not be a bad move for the team. Houston is young and can definitely relate to this generation of basketball players. He can provide a fresh voice and get these guys to play. Maybe if Houston is coaching the team, he will have a better idea of what the Knicks need in their lineup to succeed and he can also tell Jim Dolan what needs to be done as far as free agent signings.
2. Patrick Ewing
How crazy would Knicks fans go if this offseason, the team hires Patrick Ewing as the new head coach? Not only would this cause a stir and give the media something to write about, the fans would jump all over it. Whether Ewing can coach at the NBA level is another question to be answered. Ewing is currently a Charlotte Bobcats assistant coach and is gaining the experience he needs to be an NBA head coach if that's what he desires to be. Ewing was great as a player and it will be interesting to see if he can translate that to current players as head coach.
1. Herb Williams
The most likely head coach of the Knicks next season is current assistant Herb Williams. I can see Williams getting the job the same way Woodson did. Woodson took over as interim coach when D'Antoni was fired and after getting the team to win a few games, he was hired the following season. Woodson could be fired any day now and I think Herb Williams takes over and puts some life back into the team. If the Knicks can't get any of the other four coaches I've mentioned in this article to take the job, then I think Herb Williams is next year's head coach. Williams has been a Knicks' assistant coach since 2003 and was interim coach for a short time in 2004 and 2005. His record is 17-27 as a head coach. Williams may be more qualified for this job than anyone and I think it's likely he'll take over this season and keep the job into next season.