Knicks head coach Mike Woodson joined The Michael Kay show yesterday for the first time since receiving his contract extension. Woodson covered switching agents, Jeremy Lin, and Phil Jackson- see what he had to say:
With all due respect to you, we’re you surprised that the Knicks didn’t pick up the phone and feel out Phil Jackson to see if he wanted to come here?
“I’m glad they didn’t. I have a great deal of respect for Phil and what he’s done over the years, he’s an excellent coach, but the again I don’t call and don’t call those shots. Mr. Dolan made the decision to bring me back and that’s how it was, I’ll be back coaching the Knicks next season.”
“No, not really. Again, that wasn’t my concern. The concern was getting this team playing well and getting the team back into a position to push for the playoffs in which we were able to do. We just happened to run into a great team, the Miami Heat.”
So many people say that the Garden people told you that you had to fire your agent because they don’t get along with him in order for you to get this job- is that true?
“Mr. Dolan had nothing to do with me changing agents. That was strictly Mike Woodson’s decision, which I have that right to make that decision. I thank Joe Glass and his son Keith for everything they’ve done over the years, but it was time for me to part ways.”
You said there’s a lot of work to be done, is there one thing that’s head and shoulders over the others that has to improve for this team to move forward and be successful?
Well we got to stay healthy, that’s the name of the game. This summer is very pivotal for young guys like Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields to improve in terms of getting better. We have to talk amongst ownership, Glen and I, about Novak’s future, getting him back in a uniform, as well as J.R. Smith. All of those things have to come into play for us to get where we’re going next year. Who knows, we might add a piece or two, we just never know down the road. But, I like the team that we ended with but it has to be a healthy team. Injuries played a role in how we played, but the team never quit.”
Do you believe in a perfect world that Amar’e, Chandler and Carmelo can co-exist?
No I absolutely believe they can co-exist, without a doubt, and it’s going to be my job the make sure that happens. When you have a legitimate center who can defend, rebound and block shots in Tyson, you got Amar’e who can score and rebound, and you have Melo who can deliver the knock out punch- it’s gonna be up to me to put it together and I think I can. I think camp is going to be very pivotal for our ball club, that were all on the same page when we step foot on that floor, and the supporting cast has to be ready to go because Amar’e, Tyson and Melo can’t do it by themselves- it’s gonna take a total team effort.
If you guys re-sign Lin, and Glen said that you want to, and if you want to you will because you can match- is he your starting point guard, or would you rather have another guard starting and have Jeremy learn under him?
No, right now he is our starting point guard, without a doubt. I’ve always believed this- when a key guy goes down, he doesn’t lose his starting job because of injury, you welcome him back with open arms when he gets healthy and you keep it moving. That’s what we’re gonna do when we get him signed, we’ll get him back in a uniform and throw the ball in his hands and say let’s go.