In a team statement released Monday (April 21st), Phil Jackson, 11-time NBA champion coach and new president for the Knicks, expressed he had respect for Woodson and his entire staff, but a change was essential for the team to move forward progressively.
“The coaches and players on this team had an extremely difficult 2013-14 season, and blame should not be put on one individual,” Jackson said in the press release. “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.”
The Knicks didn’t perform up to par for the 2013-14 NBA season, failing to make the playoffs. They ended with a record of 37-45.
Woodson came on board as the Knicks’ assistant coach under Mike D’Antoni in 2011. He moved up to interim head coach subsequent to D’Antoni’s resignation from the franchise.
Woodson led the team to the 2011-12 season NBA playoffs. The Knicks managed to acquire their first postseason victory since 2001 against the Miami Heat, before losing the match-up 4-1.
Woodson earned the opportunity to become the official head coach of the Knicks following the 2011-12 season NBA playoffs.
In parts of three seasons with the Knicks, Woodson compiled an overall record of 109-79 (.580) that included two consecutive NBA Playoff appearances and an Atlantic Division title, according to the Knicks press release.
This is the second time in Woodson’s coaching career that he’s been fired. In 2010, he was fired from the Atlanta Hawks after leading the franchise for six years.
Before he was a coach, Woodson played professional basketball as both a guard and forward. He was selected by the Knicks in the 1980 NBA Draft and stayed with the team for two years before being traded to the New Jersey Nets. He played for several other teams, as well, including the Clippers, Rockets, Cavaliers, and Kings. His NBA career lasted a decade.
He took his first assistant coaching position in 1996 for the Milwaukee Bucks. His first head coaching position came with the Hawks in 2004.