It's been rumored for a while, but now it's official: Mike Woodson has been hired as an assistant coach of the New York Knicks. After some coaxing, Mike D'Antoni finally agreed to add another guy to his already full staff, supposedly to play a sort of defensive coordinator's role. The move comes after a summer-long hunt that also included former Nets coach Lawrence Frank (since scooped up by the Pistons) as a major candidate. Woodson, who was the subject of an incisive profile last week, returns to the game after a year away from coaching.
Before being let go in 2010, Woodson spent six seasons as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks improved gradually from the league's worst team to a playoff contender during Woodson's tenure, though some would argue that they were never all that great defensively. Of course, Woodson joins a Knicks team with a markedly different roster, and in a more specialized role. On that note, it should be interesting to see how coaching responsibilities get delegated. It could amount to anything from Woodson being just another assistant coach to D'Antoni actually handing him the clipboard, curling up on the floor, and taking naps while the opponent has possession. We shall see. Whatever happens, it'll be an unprecedented situation for D'Antoni. He's reported to have resisted the hiring of a defensive assistant since he was in Phoenix, but isn't in much of a position to bicker with one year left on his contract. Should be interesting!
You know, whenever the NBA comes back. [Sobs.]