NEW YORK (AP/PIX11) — The New York Knicks have fired Mike Woodson after falling from division champions to out of the playoffs in one season.
New team president Phil Jackson made the decision Monday, saying in a statement “the time has come for change throughout the franchise.”
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike Woodson and his entire staff,” Jackson said.
“The coaches and players on this team had an extremely difficult 2013-14 season, and blame should not be put on one individual. But the time has come for change throughout the franchise as we start the journey to assess and build this team for next season and beyond.”
The dismissal is the first big move for Jackson since his appointment in March, and comes shortly after the Knicks completed a 37-45 season that began with them believing they were a serious contender.
Instead, they started poorly, making Woodson’s job security practically a season-long distraction.
A late surge wasn’t good enough for a postseason spot or another year for Woodson, who joined the team as an interim coach during the 2011-12 season and was named head coach in May 2012.
The Knicks’ new president — who has won an NBA-record 11 championships as a coach — has repeatedly said he’s not interested in returning to the bench, so Jackson will have to hire someone before he turns his attention to the roster.
The search for a new coach is already underway, the team said.