Mike Woodson hadn’t even been hired as the Knicks lead assistant coach — which became official Monday — the speculation had started. Coach Mike D’Antoni’s job is in serious danger.
When Donnie Walsh was pushed out the door, the ground under D’Antoni’s feet started to shift. Woodson, the former Hawks head coach, gives the Knicks a viable alternative if D’Antoni is shipped out. Plus, Woodson and Knicks acting president Glen Grunwald were teammates at Indiana. And Woodson has ties to Isiah Thomas, whose shadow still lingers over the organization (and still seems to have owner James Dolan’s ear).
You know the New York media is all over that. D’Antoni gets it, too, as reported at the New York Post.
“I think all coaches are on a one-year deal,” D’Antoni said on a conference call. “It’s whether you get a paid vacation, but we all have to do something to earn another year, especially with the Knicks.
“It’s not like they have to keep [you] around because they’re financially strapped. We have to produce. Whether it’s one or 10, it doesn’t matter. It’s going to come down to next year.”
Either way, this is a good move for Woodson. If he can get the Knicks to play better defense — no easy feat considering the players on that roster — he’s have his choice of head coaching jobs next year. If D’Antoni does get kicked to the curb, Woodson is standing right there.
All that said, I’d have a better chance guessing what Ron Artest is thinking than guessing what the Knicks will do next.