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Woodson seems close to losing 'interim' tag

The Sports Xchange

Now that the offseason is officially here, now that this crazy Knicks season of ups and downs, twists and turns (and an unforgettable thing called Linsanty) has finally come to an end, the first order of business is to decide what to do with Mike Woodson.

Multiple reports have indicated that Madison Square Garden is ready to lock up Woodson on a multi-year deal to keep him as head coach. His 18-6 record to finish the season and the endorsement of the team's stars, mainly Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler, are more than enough to cinch it for him.

Woodson denied a report that he already met with Garden chairman James Dolan for preliminary discussions about his future and, in the midst of a first-round playoff series, deflected questions about his status as interim coach. "All of that will take care of itself when the time comes, if that may be," he said.

It now becomes a focus as the Knicks were eliminated by Miami in Game 5 on Wednesday night with a 106-94 defeat. Though the injury-ravaged Knicks were completely overwhelmed by the Heat in this series, Woodson appears to have done just enough to get the job.

His main competition was Phil Jackson, the man with 11 championship rings and a link to the Knicks' glory days as a member of the 1970 and '73 championship teams. But at 70 years old and coming off knee replacement surgery, Jackson might not be the right candidate anymore. It remains to be seen if he is completely eliminated from contention for the job, but all indications are that it's Woodson's to have.

Carmelo Anthony, who struggled under Mike D'Antoni but emerged after Woodson took over, is all for it.

"That would be a great thing," Anthony said. "To know what he did, taking over the coaching position in the short time he was here, the success that we had, the success that he had, if they decide to bring him back next year, we welcome that with open arms and we support that."

It would be a major step toward some much-needed stability going into next season, where the head coach would be established, the team's core intact and a full training camp to get everyone on the same page. This team hasn't gone through an entire season with the same coach and core players in five years.

--Woodson might improve his chances of keeping the job if he changes agents, SI.com reported on Saturday.

The New York Daily News first reported that the Knicks approached Woodson about a contract extension but that he would have to change agents before further talks resumed.

Woodson's agent, Joe Glass, is recovering from a pelvis injury. Woodson, according to SI, informed the Glass family that he is planning to switch to Creative Artists Agency, which represents several members of the Knicks.

Glass, 87, represented former coach Larry Brown when Brown and the Knicks ended on ugly terms in 2006.

"Hey look, Mike deserves the job I'm trying to take the high road here, but I certainly won't be asking anyone at the Garden for directions," Glass' son Keith told SI.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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