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Popper: Knicks may turn to Herb Williams again


Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Popper's been the one pushing the latest sourced rumors that Mike Woodson's job could be in jeopardy. Yesterday, we heard the Knicks (a vaguely defined entity) were "pushing" to unseat Woodson. Today, we get a potential answer to the question "If not Woodson, then whom?":

According to the source the Knicks have plotted ending the tenure of head coach Mike Woodson and nearly his entire staff of assistants. With no high-profile coach interested in stepping into this situation right now, the source said that the team has discussed a plan to keep assistant coach Herb Williams and elevate him to the top spot in an interim, reaching out to a number of candidates to fill the staff out.

First of all: Leave us Jim Todd. I know he's Woodson's guy, but I'd miss him too much. Second of all: Yes, absolutely. I think Woodson should be fired. I don't mind the idea of making that move without a viable replacement and letting the team play out the string under an interim. And I bet winning percentage would rise under almost anyone (Allan Houston is the only other name we've seen suggested), both because it'd be hard to coach the team worse than Woodson has and because I think some players' spirit and effort would improve the moment Woodson left.

More than anything else: HERB WILLIAMS MUST COACH THE KNICKS AGAIN. I feel very strongly about this. Herb's coaching career is amazing and deserves to get amazing-er. In an organization that's digested coaches, players, and executives as rapidly as anyone in the league, Herb has somehow survived. He worked under Chaney, Wilkens, Brown, Thomas, and D'Antoni, holding on when the Knicks washed them and their staffs away. Herb's technically had three separate stints as head coach, only one of them official. He coached the Knicks to a win in between Chaney's firing and Wilkens's arrival. He finished out the season as an official interim head coach when Wilkens got canned. Then he took over when Larry Brown got sick for what ended up being the last few games of his tenure. I don't know why he's lasted this long. Maybe he's quietly a great coach (overall official record: 17-27). Maybe he's just inoffensive somehow. Maybe he's got too much dirt on the entire organization at this point for them to let him back into the world. (If and when that does happen, I pray for a book). All I know is Herb is a rock among sand and I want him to be head coach again. Immediately.

But yeah, I'm still not convinced they'll fire Woodson any time soon.


- I forgot to mention that Popper lists Larry Johnson as a possible new assistant coach.

Berman reports that players are starting to sense a change looming.

- All this:

Aaaaaand here's Isola!

- And Sheridan Hoops, if you please, saying sources tell them Woodson *himself* expects to be fired.