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Mike Woodson hired by Clippers to coach on Doc Rivers’ staff

Mike WoodsonMike Woodson was let go by the New York Knicks following a disastrous season, but he is not going without a job for long.

Doc Rivers has decided to hire Woodson to be a coach on his staff with the Clippers, CBS Sports’ Ken Berger reports.

The LA Times’ Brad Turner confirms the report and says Rivers is also talking with former Milwaukee Bucks coach Larry Drew about joining his staff. Berger mentions that Rivers is also pursuing Lawrence Frank and Sam Cassell to join his staff.

Rivers lost top assistant Alvin Gentry to the Warriors. Gentry was head coach of the Suns when Steve Kerr was the team’s GM, so it makes sense that he wanted to reunite with Kerr.

Knicks fire Mike Woodson

Mike WoodsonThe New York Knicks made what everyone has been expecting official on Monday when they announced that they have fired head coach Mike Woodson. New team president Phil Jackson thanked Woodson and his staff in a statement through the team’s website.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike Woodson and his entire staff,” Jackson said. “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.”

In a way, Jackson is probably relieved that the Knicks ended up missing the playoffs after putting together an impressive run down the stretch. New York was not going to contend for a championship, and reaching the postseason would have simply delayed offseason planning and made the decision to let Woodson go a bit more complicated.

With Jackson looking to introduce the triangle offense to the Knicks, it appears that Steve Kerr is set to become the team’s next head coach. Kerr, who played under Jackson, reportedly expects to be offered the job and would except it if and when that happens. Expect Jackson to move rather quickly to make that official.

Carmelo Anthony got frustrated with Mike Woodson: ‘Lets play the f—ing game, man’

Carmelo-Anthony-Mike-WoodsonDon’t look now, but the New York Knicks have somehow strung together a series of wins. They beat the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night to pick up their seventh straight victory. Despite that, Carmelo Anthony reminded us late in the fourth quarter that superstar players have a tendency to get annoyed over nothing.

With the Knicks leading by seven points and just 19.5 second remaining, Anthony apparently wanted to go home. Mike Woodson was doing his job by reminding his players that they have no timeouts left and going over the situation when cameras caught a moment of defiance from Carmelo.

“Let’s just play the f—ing game, man,” a visibly frustrated Anthony said before putting his hand in the huddle to try to break up the discussion.

While you could argue that stuff like this happens all the time and it was no big deal, the reaction seemed pretty uncalled for. This is the same Woodson who admitted earlier this season that he forgot to call a timeout at the end of a game during a losing streak, so you can’t blame him for trying to be thorough. Anthony should respect that.

Meanwhile, the Knicks are 28-40 and just four games being the Atlanta Hawks for the 8th seed in the East. With 14 games remaining, they still have a shot at making the playoffs. What happens to Woodson if they go on a run? Phil Jackson will just have to cross that bridge if he comes to it.

Video via The Big Lead

Mike Woodson a candidate to coach Indiana Hoosiers?

Mike WoodsonNew York Knicks coach Mike Woodson is expected to be unemployed at some point in the very near future. The Knicks, who are expected to hire Phil Jackson to take over their basketball operations department, are in need of an overhaul. That will likely start with Woodson. Could the NBA coaching veteran be heading to the NCAA once he’s terminated?

According to Frank Isola of the NY Daily News, Woodson would be a top candidate to take over at Indiana if current head coach Tom Crean is bought out. Crean has led the Hoosiers to a 17-15 record and it hoping for an NIT bid. Indiana was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament last year but was eliminated in the Sweet 16.

According to a source, Woodson would be a top candidate at his alma mater, Indiana University, if current coach Tom Crean does not return. The source claims that several prominent IU boosters are pushing to buy out Crean and install Woodson, a product of Indianapolis, as the coach.”

Woodson graduated from Indiana, where he played college ball and ended up being the 12th overall pick in the 1980 NBA draft. He has been an NBA coach since 1996, though a source told Isola Woodson fully expects to be fired by the Knicks.

If Indiana truly is hoping to hire Woodson, the deciding factor will obviously be if he wants to coach at the collegiate level. While Indiana is one of the most elite programs in the country, going from the Knicks to the Hoosiers would obviously be taking a step back.

H/T SI Hot Clicks

Carmelo Anthony says he had tea with James Dolan, didn’t discuss Mike Woodson

Carmelo-Anthony-Mike-Woodson-holds-players-accountableA report from the NY Daily News on Thursday indicated that New York Knicks owner James Dolan sat down with Carmelo Anthony earlier this week to discuss the direction of the team. One of the topics they allegedly spoke about was whether head coach Mike Woodson has lost the locker room in the wake of another multi-game losing streak.

The Knicks are 20-30. Anthony has said publicly on multiple occasions that the players are the ones who have to execute and the coaches are not to blame, but his reputation as a coach killer precedes him. A person close to Carmelo reportedly told the Daily News that he is not looking for Woodson to be fired.

“There may be players that have a problem with Woody and want to blame him but Carmelo isn’t one of them,” the source said. “If Carmelo has tuned out Woody or doesn’t want him as a coach, why did he score 62 points two weeks ago? Why was he player of the month in January?”

Almost any coach in Woodson’s position would be on the hot seat, and there have been rumors that he could be fired by the end of the month. It would stand to reason that Dolan would consult Anthony before making such a significant change, especially since ‘Melo can opt out of his contract after the season ends. However, he insist his conversation with Dolan was simply a tea party.

“It wasn’t nothing serious,” Anthony said Friday, via Newsday’s Al Iannazzone. “Just talking. I had tea. He had tea. That’s it. We didn’t get into details about anything. It was just a conversation.”

I don’t know what’s harder to envision — Carmelo sitting around drinking tea or Carmelo and Dolan not discussing the future of a 20-30 team that could be losing its best player at the end of the season. Dolan knows he needs to keep ‘Melo and probably bring in another top free agent in order to contend. If losing Woodson means keeping Anthony, Woodson will be gone.

Mike Woodson reportedly confronted Tyson Chandler about making critical comments

tyson-chandlerNew York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson could be losing control of his team, and he may wind up losing his job as a result. The Knicks have lost four straight since somehow stringing together five wins in a row earlier this month. If a report from the NY Daily News about Tyson Chandler is true, JR Smith is not the only player Woodson is having problems with.

Sometime over the last week or so, Woodson reportedly confronted Chandler about comments the 31-year-old made that could be seen as negative toward the head coach. Frank Isola of the NY Daily News speculated that the conversation may have taken place after a loss to the Indiana Pacers last week, when Chandler said the Knicks “didn’t make adjustments.” Woodson had previously said that New York was simply outworked.

After the Brooklyn Nets beat the Knicks 103-80 at Madison Square Garden on Monday, Chandler told reporters that Brooklyn “out-schemed” the Knicks. He also said he did not agree with Woodson’s strategy of constantly switching on defense.

“I don’t want to switch,” Chandler said. “I personally don’t like it. You come with a defensive plan and then every guy kind of mans up and takes his responsibility. I think switching should always be your last resort. That’s me, personally.”

Chandler said on Tuesday that his comments were not directed toward Woodson. If Woodson had his little chat with Chandler prior to Monday, it obviously didn’t work. If something Chandler said did in fact bother him, Woodson isn’t admitting it publicly.

“If they want to lash out at me that’s fine,” he said Tuesday. “I’m not a coach that takes things personally. Players get upset. Coaches get upset… Sometimes it’s healthy when players get upset like that.”

Here’s how it’s gone lately for the Knicks. Carmelo Anthony sits on the bench shaking his head, JR Smith gets benched every now and then and claims he has no idea why, and backup point guard Beno Udrih wants to be traded because he’s not getting enough minutes. If New York can’t find a way to start winning on a consistent basis, Woodson will likely be out by season’s end.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

JR Smith reportedly benched for having words with Mike Woodson before OT of Suns game

JR SmithThe ongoing rift between JR Smith and New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson has remained somewhat of a mystery, but Woodson’s motives for benching Smith are starting to become more clear. On Tuesday night, Smith was benched for the second time in four games. Woodson offered no explanation for the decision.

Why did Smith play two games in between benchings? Frank Isola of the NY Daily News reports that Smith was benched against the Charlotte Bobcats after having words with Woodson the previous night.

J.R. Smith’s benching in Charlotte Tuesday night may have been a direct result of Smith sitting most of the overtime in Monday’s win over Phoenix.

According to a source, Smith was vocal with coach Mike Woodson about not starting the extra session against Phoenix after missing what would have been a game-winning shot at the end of regulation.

That would make sense. Some have speculated that Smith’s childish habit of untying opponents’ shoelaces during free throw attempts had resulted in disciplinary action, but in reality it seems like Woodson has simply had enough of his antics. The two also reportedly had a heated exchange last month.

Smith signed a three-year, $18 million deal this past offseason. With recent rumors surfacing that indicate the Knicks are looking to trade him, it appears highly unlikely that Smith will remain in New York for the length of that contract. He’s an important part of the Knicks’ offense when cooperative, but he’ll need to change his attitude for that to matter.