Mike Woodson took the Atlanta Hawks from the doormat of the Eastern Conference to a 50-win team with three consecutive trips to the playoffs.
Now, after compiling a 206-289 record in six season as the Hawks head man, he is out of a job.
A career playoff record of 11-18 and eroding team chemistry led to speculation that the Hawks wouldn’t attempt to retain Woodson’s services when his contract expired after the season.
The Hawks made it official Friday morning, in a story first reported by NBA.com.
“After careful consideration, we have made a difficult decision regarding coach Woodson’s contractual status. We’re grateful for Mike’s contributions over the last six years and we want to wish him the very best,” GM Rick Sund said in a statement.
Woodson clashed with Josh Smith during his tenure in Atlanta. Smith will most likely become the face of the franchise next year after free agent Joe Johnson signs elsewhere. The inmates run the asylum in the NBA, and bringing Woodson back would likely have led to further conflict with J Smooth.
Not returning to Atlanta could actually help Woodson’s coaching career.
The Hawks are struggling financially and won’t be brining back Johnson or Mike Bibby. The franchise will enter cost-cutting mode and look to get younger–even though the Hawks are one of the youngest teams in the NBA.
Woodson should be able to land a decent job somewhere next season. His track record would make him a good fit with the L.A. Clippers or the New Jersey Nets.
There are currently five head coaching vacancies in the NBA; that number will soon grow to six assuming the Cavaliers decide to fire Mike Brown.