Mike Woodson offered a tough assessment of both himself and the New York Knicks on Thursday.
“This year has been, for me, it’s been kind of a disaster from a coaching standpoint in trying to get players to compete and play at a high level,” Woodson said in an interview on ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s “The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show.”
“That’s the frustrating part about it, because I know we’re better than what we’ve shown and we’ve still got a chance.”
The Knicks fell to 11-17 at home with Wednesday night’s loss to Portland. At 19-30, they are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, 2½ games out of the eighth and final playoff spot.
It isn’t where owner James Dolan thought the team would be when he told staffers before the season that he expected the Knicks to compete for a championship.
Woodson’s job security has been a hot topic throughout the season. The loss to the Trail Blazers — the Knicks’ third straight — brought a fresh round of media speculation surrounding his status.
“I can’t concern myself with that. I really can’t,” Woodson told Smith and Ruocco. “It’s been out there, it’s buzzing. The media, they write it.
“That’s not my concern. My concern is coming to work every day with my head held high, trying to figure out how I can get us out of this hole. It’s not worrying about if I’m going to have a job tomorrow. I don’t live my everyday life thinking about that. My job is thinking about X’s and O’s and trying to get guys to play at a high level and win games.”
Some Knicks players privately have grown tired of Woodson questioning the team’s effort after losses, sources told ESPNNewYork.com.
Two league sources said some players expressed their frustration with Woodson to Knicks management after a loss to Brooklyn on Jan. 20.
Dolan, meanwhile, visited the team’s locker room after Wednesday’s loss and met with Carmelo Anthony and at least one other player, the New York Daily News reported, citing a source. The meeting was to discuss the Knicks’ state and whether firing Woodson was necessary, according to the newspaper.
Woodson said Thursday that he remains focused on helping the Knicks make a playoff push in the final 33 games of the regular season.
“At the end of the day, it’s my job to get these players to play at a high level and win games,” he said. “We’ve had our ups and downs in that area, but we’re still fighting.”
Read more: ESPN