Mike Woodson was assumed to be a lame duck upon arrival when he took the New York Knicks’ head coaching job on an interim basis last month, but now it appears he may have some long-term hope after all. Knicks stars Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire have come out and publicly endorsed Woodson as their coach, according to Al Iannazzone of Newsday.
“I would love to see him around here past this year,” Anthony said. “Just to see what he’s brought to our team, the confidence that he’s instilled into everybody, the belief that he has in everybody. Just his coaching style, the way he’s coached, kind of a hard-nosed coach. Holds everybody accountable out there, saying that everybody is responsible for their own actions. I would love to see him back here.”
“Coach Woodson has done a great job for us,” Stoudemire added. “He’s done a phenomenal, phenomenal job. I love his attitude. I love his coaching style. It would be nice.”
Woodson, known for his defensive fundamentals and his simple, isolation-based offensive schemes that emphasize star players, has had a solid start to his tenure with the Knicks. Since taking over for the resigned Mike D’Antoni on March 14, Woodson has led the Knicks to an impressive 16-6 record in the six weeks since, and he has the team playoff-bound at 34-30 overall, looking at either a No. 7 or a No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.
His contract status after this season remains very much unclear, but Woodson has maintained publicly that he’s interested in returning next season.
“I would love to come back,” he said. “I think when you’ve been given an opportunity to start something, you’d love to finish it. But that’s not my call, and I think when that time comes, I’ll probably have an opportunity to sit down and talk to Mr. Dolan and management about it and hopefully, it will work in my favor.”