The Knicks made the worst secret in the city official late Friday as they took the interim tag off head coach Mike Woodson and signed him to be the permanent man in charge.
The move had been expected since at least the last day of the season when the team cleaned out their lockers. Terms of the deal were not released, but it is a multi-year contract.
“I’m very, very excited about coming back and being the Knicks head coach,” Woodson said in a conference call Friday evening.
Woodson was 18-6 in the regular season after taking over for Mike D’Antoni, who stepped down on March 14. Woodson stepped in immediately and won a home game against the Kings that night in blowout fashion. They made the playoffs as the No. 7 seed, but lost in five games to the Heat in the opening round.
The playoff series was ugly as the team was mostly dominated on-the-court, guard Iman Shumpert blew out his knee and forward Amar’e Stoudemire punched a fire extinguisher case and badly cut his hand. But the Knicks’ brass were still confident enough to bring back Woodson.
“I think Woody earned the right to be the first person we talked to and it turned out to be the only person we talked to,” Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald said in Friday’s conference call.
Fans and media speculated on anyone from Kentucky coach John Calipari to legendary Bulls and Lakers coach Phil Jackson taking over.
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