For most NBA coaches, the extension of a contract equates to job security. When guiding the Knicks, it means next to nothing.
New York's new president and general manager, Steve Mills, announced that the team picked up the 2014-15 option on Coach Woody's contract.
Sep. 30, 2013–President and GM Steve Mills announced that the team has picked up the option on M. Woodson’s contract for the 2014-15 season.— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) September 30, 2013
Upon sharing the news, Mills lauded Woodson for the work he's done since taking the reins after Mike D'Antoni realized he was a deer in headlights resigned midway through the 2011-12 season.
"I have long respected Mike and think he has done a remarkable job since becoming the head coach of the Knicks,” he said, per the team announcement. “After spending time with him recently, it is clear that picking up his option is an easy decision.”
Of course it's an easy decision. The Knicks need to restore order after ousting Glen Grunwald, who was a known advocate of Woodson.
It's funny, really, that Mills is the one speaking so highly of Woody. His hire itself represents everything New York's front office has stood for this side of the ice age: lawless morals.
Mills is replacing Grunwald, whom I've openly criticized in the past for additions like Marcus Camby and, to a lesser extent, Raymond Felton. But even I can admit he did a solid job given the financial situation he inherited.
With no money, he's brought in guys like Beno Udrih and Metta World Peace, orchestrated Tyson Chandler's acquisition and aided in the discovery of Pablo Prigioni. More often than not, however, there is no rhyme or reason to New York's methodology.
As B/R's Howard Beck outlined, Grunwald was essentially ousted because he didn't fit the high-profile bill. Before him, Donnie Walsh, a cap-managing genius, was pushed out because he wanted to avoid the very cash-strapped situation Grunwald took on. And D'Antoni left after making the mistake of suggesting the Knicks trade Carmelo Anthony.
People get fired for all types of reasons in New York. No one is safe.
Like the New York Post's Marc Berman and New York Daily News' Frank Isola opine, this Woodson news isn't indicative of any job security.
Announcing that #Knicks have picked up Woodson's option is costly and nice for appearance but assures nothing for next year.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) September 30, 2013
Knicks pick up option on Mike Woodson. Don't equate that with job security...just means Woodson gets a golden parachute if he's fired.— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) September 30, 2013
Will Mike Woodson finish out his contract with the Knicks?
One year from now, this option could be construed as hush money if the Knicks choose to get rid of him. This is a financial fail-safe, not job security. In New York, within the walls of Madison Square Garden, there's no such thing.
Tread carefully, then, Mike. Coaching for the Knicks is like skydiving with a defective parachute. No matter what the higher-ups or your contract say, there's no guarantee your chute opens in time to save your job.