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Knicks fire coach Woodson after lost season

Published April 21, 2014 5:48 pm

NBA notes • Phil Jackson makes first major move as team executive.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

New York • Mike Woodson was fired as coach the New York Knicks on Monday after his team fell from division champions to out of the playoffs in one season.

Phil Jackson, in his first big move since becoming team president in March, said in a statement "the time has come for change throughout the franchise."

The dismissal comes shortly after the Knicks completed a 37-45 season that began with their belief 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.

Jackson has won an NBA-record 11 championships as a coach. He has repeatedly said he's not interested in returning to the bench, so he will have to hire someone before he turns his attention to the roster. The team said the coaching search begins immediately.

Jackson said he has a "tremendous amount of respect" for Woodson and his staff, which was also fired. Jackson called this an "extremely difficult" season and said "blame should not be put on one individual."

Woodson went 109-79 with the Knicks, who hadn't even made the playoffs since 2004 before he led them there in 2012.

Adelman retires

Minnesota Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman has decided to retire after 23 seasons in the NBA. Adelman made the announcement Monday, five days after the Wolves wrapped up a disappointing 40-42 season.

The decision brings to an end to a celebrated coaching career that includes 1,042 victories, eighth on the NBA's career list. He coached Western Conference powers in Portland and Sacramento and also had stops in Golden State and Houston.

Noah is top defender

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year on Monday in front of friends and family.

"This is very humbling to be in this situation right now," Noah said at a news conference where his family was in the front row. He told coach Tom Thibodeau: "Without your system, this wouldn't be possible."

Noah joins Michael Jordan in 1988 as the only Bulls players to win the award.

The recognition comes after he helped Chicago win 48 games and capture home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs despite losing Derrick Rose to a season-ending knee injury and trading away Luol Deng.