Saturday, May 26, 2012

Knicks Remove Interim Tag, Name Mike Woodson Head Coach

The Knicks officially removed the interim tag from Mike Woodson Friday night, naming him their next head coach.  After leading the Knicks to an 18-6 record in the regular season and their first playoff win in over 11 years it became more and more evident Woodson would be the next head coach.  Support from the top three players on the team, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler also didn’t hurt. 

Terms of the contract were not disclosed by the Knicks, but sources are saying that Woodson’s contract has two guaranteed years with a third-year option.  Each year is worth approximately $4 million per season.  This is a significant contract because it has the potential to match up with the length of the contracts with Anthony, Stoudemire and Chandler.  All three have shown support for Woodson and this gives them the opportunity to actually grow together and build some continuity, as the organization has seen nearly 70 different players come and go throughout the last three seasons. 

Woodson got this job because he was able to get the players to buy into his system and had them playing hard every night.  Woodson had a direct impact with the improved play and maturity of players such as Anthony and J.R. Smith.  Jared Jeffries said late in the season on ESPN radio that Woodson was better at handling personalities, compared to Mike D’Antoni who was focused more on coaching.  Woodson held everyone, including stars, accountable which helped him gain respect from his players.  Knowing how to deal with the different players and personalities on the roster mixed with his no-nonsense approach made for a great product on the court and led to him getting his contract.

Earlier this month, Woodson dumped his agent, Keith Glass, to be represented by CAA, Creative Artists Agency.  Woodson is now being represented by Terry Prince from the agency replacing Glass. CAA also represents multiple people within the Knicks organization, including Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith and executive Mark Warkentien. 

Glass is the son of Joe Glass, who was the representative for Larry Brown during his tenuous season with the Knicks during the 2005-06 season.  Woodson says the decision to change agents was not influenced by anyone else and made the decision on his own.  “I have no contract with the Glasses.  I paid for my services and I elected to move on,” said Woodson.  Woodson continued, saying, “James Dolan had nothing to do with me making this decision.  It was Mike Woodson’s decision.  I had every right to make that decision, to move on if I choose to do that.”  The switch had little to do with the agency’s ties with the Knicks he would later add.

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