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Former New York Knicks’ Head Coach Mike Woodson Could Join Los Angeles Clippers Coaching Staff, Effect Knicks Assistant Search

June 20th, 2014 at 10:41 PM
By Matt Agne

The New York Knicks have officially found Mike Woodson's replacement after hiring Derek Fisher as their knew head coach. However, it doesn't sound like Woodson will be out of work for long as Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers are interested in adding him to the coaching staff. Could the addition of Woodson in Los Angeles effect the Knicks coaching staff back in New York?

'Los Angeles Clippers' photo (c) 2009, Michael Tipton - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The reason why Mike Woodson is being mentioned as a possible assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers is because he's well respected throughout the league and known for his defensive coaching prowess. He's also being considered because space has opened up on the Clipper's bench.

Alvin Gentry has agreed with the Golden State Warriors on a three-year deal to become the associate head coach under new head coach Steve Kerr. Not a hard choice for him when the Warriors are doubling his salary. That has Doc Rivers and the Clippers looking at two former head coaches as possible assistants coaches.

You'd have to think that either would be strong hires. Woodson probably has a better record as an assistant though since he was most recently a supportive assistant to Mike D'Antoni before taking over as head coach after D'Antoni's departure. Frank had problems with Jason Kidd and was basically paid to go away after undermining him with the Brookly Nets. 

That being said, Frank has a history with Rivers after serving as his lead assistant with the Boston Celtics. He's known for being very prepared, having a strong work ethic and for designing thorough game plans.

'Jason Kidd, Mike Woodson' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Woodson meanwhile is a very good assistant and a better head coach than Frank but still not a guy you can see leading a team to a championship. Woodson hasn't worked with Rivers before but could offer Rivers a great sound beard and support system.

Rivers is in a great position to hire former head coaches as his assistants because he's extremely powerful within the Clippers franchise. Some head coaches seem to fear assistants with clout but Rivers is not one of them. If the Clippers can land either Woodson or Frank it definitely would strengthen their bench. Getting both could be a difference maker.

Interestingly enough, one of Rivers current assistants was one of the hotter head coaching candidates this off-season. However, after the Cleveland Cavaliers agreed to a deal with international coaching star David Blatt it looks like Tyronn Lue might not get his head coaching opportunity next season.

Lue was not only in the running for the Cavaliers job but was considered a backup option for the Knicks had they not landed Fisher as their head coach. With his other options running out could the Knicks do with Lue what the Warriors did with Gentry?

Lue played under Phil Jackson on the Los Angeles Lakers and knows the triangle offense. He also gained plenty of basketball knowledge after playing for six other teams than the Lakers during his eleven seasons in the NBA. He also learned under Rivers as his assistant with both the Celtics and Clippers.

Lue nay be best known for being victimized by Allan Iverson during the 2001 NBA Finals. However, in the end it is Lue who was left standing. Lue is a good assistant and it could be argued he's actually more qualified than Kerr, Derek Fisher, Kidd or Mark Jackson were before being given their chances.

If the Knicks could overpay him to become Fisher's assistant it would be considered a coup. As long as it doesn't cost New York anything more than money it would be a very wise move by Jackson. Lue may not be worth a draft choice but there's no reason Jackson should shy away from spending James Dolan's money.

Tags: Alvin Gentry, Basketball, Doc Rivers, James Dolan, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Mike D'antoni, Mike Woodson, NBA, New York, New York Knicks, Phil Jackson

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