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Knicks fire D-League coach Kevin Whitted

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson looks on

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson looks on against the Charlotte Hornets in the second half of an NBA game at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Once again, Knicks president Phil Jackson took to Twitter to imply the "basketball gods" are displeased with his team, but this time he said changes are around the bend.

"We will rebuild a team that fits together -- guys that want to compete and play the way bball gods approve. #groundup" Jackson tweeted Sunday, about a month after tweeting that a Knicks loss to the Cavaliers had given those same mythical deities "heartburn."

It could be that Jackson already is making moves, albeit small ones. The Westchester Knicks, the organization's D-League team, announced the firing of coach Kevin Whitted Monday with four games remaining in their season.

Whitted was hired Oct. 8 as the new team's first coach and compiled a record of 10-36, second-worst in the league. The team is 1-22 on the road.

Assistant Craig Hodges will close out the remaining four games as interim coach, the team said in a news release. It was unclear who made the decision to fire Whitted.

"Our focus remains on developing players and preparing them for the next step in their careers," said Allan Houston, the Westchester Knicks' general manager. "The support from the fans and the entire community in our inaugural season has been tremendous. We wish Kevin the best in his future endeavors."

Houston and Whitted go way back. They played together at the University of Tennessee under Houston's father, Wade.

Hodges has a strong history with Jackson. He played for two of Jackson's NBA championship Bulls teams, in 1991 and 1992, and was an assistant on Jackson's Los Angeles Lakers teams from 2005-11.

As for further changes, the Knicks certainly have the wiggle room to make big strides. Other than Carmelo Anthony's five-year, $124-million contract, the team shed enormous amounts of salary in this lost year, and is estimated to have about $30 million of cap space going into next season. Plus that league-worst 14-60 record will put the Knicks in position for a top-four draft pick.


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