Has Knicks' Mike Woodson coached his last game?
Mike Woodson said he would like to find out soon whether he will return as the Knicks coach next season, but he may already know the answer.
Team president Phil Jackson will conduct exit interviews with the players Thursday. Woodson was asked whether he will be a part of them.
"I won't comment on that," he said before the Knicks ended the season with a 95-92 win over the Raptors Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.
Usually the team's top executive and head coach meet with players. If Woodson, who is signed through next season, isn't in those meetings, it's a strong sign he might not be back.
That was the expected outcome after the Knicks went 37-45 and missed the playoffs for the first time in four years.
There were high expectations put on the Knicks and they weren't close to being met. Woodson would be the fall guy one year after guiding the Knicks to 54 wins and their first playoff series victory in 13 years.
Woodson, who is 109-79 since replacing Mike D'Antoni on March 14, 2012, believes he deserves to be back.
"I was given an opportunity two years ago to take over a team that was struggling and I made the most of it," Woodson said. "Unfortunately this year just didn't go according to plan. Is it fair to let me go? I don't think so. I don't make that decision. That's got to come from the top.
"Am I the guy for the job? I'm the only guy for this job. I've always said that. I feel good about what I do as a coach. I know the system works. I'm pleased and happy to be given this opportunity and if they bring me back I'm going to make damn sure that this doesn't happen again next season."
Woodson said Jackson hasn't spoken to him much since becoming president last month. Last week, Woodson said he thought Jackson was giving him space as he tried to get the Knicks into the playoffs.
"We've had our little chats," Woodson said. "But the big chat is going to be my job security and where I'm going to be."
Jackson may want to hire someone who has mastered the triangle offense. Former Bull Steve Kerr is believed to be a leading candidate. Kerr has never coached before.
Woodson's job has been a major topic for much of the season. He's been the one who has had to answer questions about it the most since the Knicks rarely make team executives available.
Injuries have played a part in the Knicks underachieving, but they also lost many games they should have won. Kenyon Martin said Woodson shouldn't take the blame.
"Woody, he had us prepared every game," Martin said Wednesday. "We didn't go out and get it done."
Amar'e Stoudemire said the Knicks didn't always "buy into" what Woodson wanted.
"Certain strategies were placed upon us with coach Woodson," Stoudemire said. "There were times when we didn't quite buy into it and as a result of that we lost games."
As a result, Woodson may lose his job.
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