It’s never good when the boss calls you into his office.
Especially if you are the coach of a basketball team that just got blown out by 31 points on your home court, with your team falling to 2-4 on the season. A season where the owner expects a title.
But that’s what happened to Knicks coach Mike Woodson — he ended up in owner James Dolan’s office after the Spurs exposed and embarrassed New York Sunday afternoon at the Garden. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News has the story.
Mike Woodson’s horrible day concluded with a meeting with James Dolan and his boss later guaranteeing victory on Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks.
Under the circumstances, the sit down and Dolan’s guarantee — spoken on stage during a performance by Dolan’s band JD and the Straight Shot — was not nearly as excruciating for Woodson as watching the Knicks fail to show up against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.
There is starting to be speculation about Mike Woodson’s job safety, and there were fans in New York starting a “fire Woodson” chant late in the game. There certainly are things we can question about Woodson’s choices, including his desire to go big with Andrea Bargnani at the four despite how well Carmelo Anthony played in that position last year.
But the mess in New York is not Woodson’s fault.
He didn’t assemble a mismatched roster. Anyone who had watched Bargnani in the past three years knew he was not a guy you count on to be a key player. It’s not Woodson’s fault Tyson Chandler is out, there is no real center depth behind him and there are no other strong defenders on the roster.
This not a well assembled roster. They have the talent to be a good team — 50 wins and a solid playoff seed and they will put up points — but certainly not one that is a contender no matter what Dolan thinks. Woodson has done as much with what he was given as could be expected.
Phil Jackson is not walking through that door. Sorry. And even if he did he couldn’t win it all with this group. The problems are deeper than the coaching.