On Isiah Thomas’ recommendation, the New York Knicks hire Mike Woodson as assistant coach

Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News:

The Knicks are moving closer to hiring former Hawks head coach Mike Woodson as an assistant coach, which will fuel speculation that Woodson may one day succeed Mike D’Antoni as the team’s head coach.

The move might become official next week, according to sources, when Garden and team executives return from vacation. Woodson had what he called a good meeting with D’Antoni earlier this month, but he had people above D’Antoni in his corner from the start.

Woodson’s hiring was recommended by Isiah Thomas, a long-time friend and former teammate who continues to serve as Garden chairman Jim Dolan‘s top unpaid consultant.

Good for Woodson, whom the Pistons strongly considered for their head-coaching vacancy. If he can help the Knicks’ dreadful defense, he’ll get another head-coaching job in no time. And if he can’t, I doubt too many people will hold it against him.

I also wonder what role, if any, Isiah Thomas played in the Pistons’ coaching search.

Lawrence also reveals what might have been a factor in Detroit not hiring Woodson:

"Mike didn’t adjust when he coached the Hawks," said one NBA president. "He had his game-plan going in and he stuck with it. As a future head coach, he’ll probably be better because it would be his second job. A lot of times, guys do better after their first head coaching job when they have that experience."