Mike Woodson says he is “ecstatic” about the possibility of getting a second chance to be the Knicks’ coach.
Woodson, who coached the Knicks for two-plus season from 2012-14, is one of the many candidates the team and new president Leon Rose have interviewed or will interview for its current head coaching vacancy. He is one of 11 known candidates, a list that includes former Timberwolves and Bulls coach Tim Thibodeau and ex-Nets headman Kenny Atkinson.
The 62-year-old Woodson, who also coached the Hawks, said he is happy to be considered for another try in New York.
“I was just hoping one day to get a shot to come back and I think this is a wonderful opportunity now,” Woodson said while a guest Thursday on SiriusXM NBA Radio with hosts Eddie Johnson and Antonio Daniels. “I thank the Knicks for reaching out to me and putting me in position. That’s all you can ask for as a coach when you go out and start interviewing for these jobs. So I’m excited about it, I really am.”
While Woodson was the last coach to lead the Knicks to playoffs — posting a 54-28 record and reaching the second round of the playoffs during the 2012-13 season — he said he is even prouder of his final year at the Garden. The Knicks dealt with injuries early but rallied to finish 37-45, one game out of the playoffs. He took full blame for the early struggles, but was pleased with the club’s resilience.
“Those guys could have easily quit and say, ‘Hey let’s go home for the summer and get ready for next season’, but they didn’t quit on me,” Woodson said. “For me from a coach’s standpoint, hey that was a good coaching job by me and my staff.”
Woodson said if he did return to the Knicks, the team’s offense would look very similar to what his old squad ran because “I thought our style of play fits how we’re playing today” based on the number of 3-pointers that are attempted. But one thing he would change is delegating more to his staff.
“I pretty much ran everything myself, tried to anyway,” Woodson said.