Buh-bye Mike Woodson. It hasn't always been fun, but it's most definitely been real.
New York Knicks president Phil Jackson announced Monday that the "team's coaching staff have been relieved of their duties, effective immediately," dropping an ax the organization had been haphazardly sharpening and swinging for months.
Woodson's dismissal, like many other forced exits, is both fair and unfair. He was insufferable for much of this past season, coaching the Knicks to only 37 victories, going down in a haze of big lineups, antiquated play-calling and unforgettable, curb-related soundbites.
But Woodson is also a scapegoat for much bigger problems. The Knicks weren't healthy, nor did they assemble the ideal roster. Their late-season surge was something of a miracle considering how awful they were for most of the year. Woodson deserves credit for their too-little, too-late, but-still-impressive turnaround.
Basically, Woodson is the guy who farted once and was labeled forever, cited as the source of all subsequent cheese-cutting thereafter.
No use harping on his exit, though. What's done is done. A new coach needs to be hired.
He won't be picked up off the street or chosen at random. He will be someone who can coach whatever system Jackson wishes to implement, providing stability while ushering in change at the same time.
Potential candidates will be those with ties to Jackson and his triangle offense, or established, big-name coaches who are most likely to turn New York's basketball culture into something better than it is now.
"The time has come for change throughout the franchise as we start the journey to assess and build...for next season and beyond," Jackson said in a statement, per ESPN New York's Ian Begley.
The search for a new coach, a better, Jackson-endorsed coach, begins now.