With a return to the New York Knicks potentially on the table, former coach Mike Woodson discussed his run with the team.
Woodson boarded as an assistant in 2011 and replaced Mike D’Antoni in March 2012. He coached 188 games of the regular season – winning 109 – for the Knicks before being fired in April 2014.
SNY’s Ian Begley and Danny Abriano reported June 4 that Woodson was among the candidates the Knicks will interview for their vacant head coach.
“The bottom line is that I’m happy to have another opportunity to interview for this job,” said Woodson in an interview with Begley. “I couldn’t be happier. When I left there, I thought that one day, I hope, I will have a chance to come back. And this is the shot. I am ecstatic.”
Woodson said he was happy with how he performed during the first round. He is the last coach to lead the playoff franchise (2012-13).
“I did my job when I was here,” said Woodson. “We won games. The fan base was engaged. I left the Garden many nights thinking that the fans were proud and excited about what we were doing. I am able to return to New York and help them build a winning team again ? I am confident in this, absolutely. “
Woodson also dismantled the way the Knicks got to play Carmelo Anthony on power forward, an approach that helped Anthony lead the league in scoring (28.7 points per game) in 2012-13:
“It could be a little smaller than many of the four that we would play, so defensively we thought we could cover it for him if we needed. But he played his ass in defense for us that year. And on the other Alla end, there weren’t four in the league that could cover Carmelo Anthony. Not one. And we knew it. That’s why the four were so powerful for him and our club at that particular time. Melo thrived in the four. And we won many games. “
Over time, the narrative on Woodson’s period may have changed. It was not an undeserved success on the sidelines, but none of his successors did well. None of Derek Fisher (40 wins), Jeff Hornacek (60 wins) or David Fizdale (21 wins) lasted more than two seasons at the helm.
Woodson also deployed Anthony as trait 4 before tactics became commonplace across the league. The results spoke for themselves. Anthony’s two most efficient three-point shooting seasons passed under Woodson (40.2 percent in 2013-14 and 37.9 percent in 2012-13).