New York Knicks: Glen Grunwald

D'Antoni shocked Melo struggled under him

January, 26, 2014
Jan 26
NEW YORK -- Almost everyone seems to play well in Mike D’Antoni’s offensive system. Jeremy Lin singed a three-year, $25 million contract after playing a handful of games under D’Antoni. Steve Nash became a superstar while playing for D'Antoni

Even Kendall Marshall is putting up decent numbers for D’Antoni with the Lakers.

So D’Antoni admitted Sunday that it was a bit confounding that he couldn’t get Carmelo Anthony to thrive in his “Fun and Gun” offense.

Before the tip-off of Sunday's Knicks-Lakers game, D’Antoni was asked if it was “shocking” that Anthony -- one of the best offensive players on the planet -- didn’t perform well in his system.

“Yeah, shocking,” he said.

Anthony and D’Antoni had a falling out when D’Antoni coached the Knicks. When D’Antoni “stepped down” in March 2012, it was widely reported that the poor relationship between the two contributed to D’Antoni’s departure.

D’Antoni didn’t want to elaborate Sunday on why it didn’t work with Anthony in New York. “I’ll keep my mouth shut. You gave me an opportunity to keep my mouth shut, this is a good one,” he said.

He also didn’t want to address Anthony’s potential free agency.

The Knicks were 18-24 when D’Antoni stepped down and Mike Woodson took over in 2012. D’Antoni was asked about the difficulty of coaching in New York -- Woodson has dealt with public questions about his job security throughout this season.

“It’s tough, you’ve got to win,” said D’Antoni. “If you don’t, everything’s going to be questioned, it should be. But that’s the nature of the game and Woody does a great job. Whether things click or don’t click sometimes it’s out of your control. You’ll need a little luck. But they’ll keep battling. There’s so much basketball left and it’s way, way early. He’ll continue to do what he does and it has worked so there’s no reason why it won’t work again.”

Motivated by Ali: Woodson explained the reasoning behind showing his players a video of an inspirational speech by Muhammad Ali before Friday’s game against the Bobcats.

“The thinking was we’re on a skid, five-game losing streak. We’re trying to lift the players’ morale a little bit,” Woodson said. “It worked. I thought our guys came out, responded well.”

They certainly did. Anthony had a Garden- and Knicks-record 62 points in a 29-point win.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

GM sees long-term partnership with Melo

July, 17, 2013

There has been plenty of speculation about Carmelo Anthony's future over the past couple of weeks.

The latest bit of news is that the Lakers plan to pursue Anthony in free agency next summer if the Knicks star opts out of the final year of his deal.

Anthony won't end up in purple and gold if Knicks GM Glen Grunwald has his way, though.

Grunwald on Tuesday said he sees the Knicks as having a "long-term, successful partnership" with Anthony.

"It's really premature for me to talk about [Anthony's opt-out]. We obviously love Melo, we think he's great for New York and New York is great for him," Grunwald said on a conference call.

"We see it being a long-term, successful partnership with him as we go forward. But right now, it's just too early to say anything other than we're looking forward to this coming season and we expect to have a good year."

It's worth noting that Anthony will have to leave a significant amount of money of the table if he chooses to opt out of the final year of his contract, worth $23,333,403.

If he opts out and signs with another team, he can ink a four-year contract worth $95,897,372, according to calculations by ESPN salary-cap expert Larry Coon. If Anthony opts out and re-signs with the Knicks, he can sign a five-year contract worth $129,135,806. That's a difference of $33,238,434.

Those numbers are based on the assumption Anthony, the NBA's reigning scoring champion, will sign a max contract.

The Knicks can begin negotiations on an extension with Anthony in February.

Grunwald said on Tuesday that it was premature to comment on any extension discussions he might have with Anthony in February. But the GM made it clear that he wants Anthony to remain a Knick, which makes sense because the franchise moved heaven and earth to get Anthony to the Garden in 2011.

QUESTION: How would you feel if Anthony opted out and signed with another team? Would he be justified in doing so if he felt the Knicks weren't in contention for a title?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Bargnani eager for fresh start

July, 11, 2013
Andrea BargnaniRocky Widner/Getty ImagesAndrea Bargnani said he "really wants" to help the Knicks win next season.
After suffering through years of losing with the Toronto Raptors, former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani is looking forward to a fresh start with the New York Knicks.

"I had a weird experience in Toronto. I had good years and the last couple of years were bad. When you lose there's going to be frustration. I'm just very excited to be here. I can't wait to start," Bargnani said on a conference call Thursday. "I really want to help this team to win... I'm starving to win."

The Knicks sent Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson, a 2016 first-round pick and second-rounders in 2014 and 2017 to Toronto to acquire Bargnani in a trade that was officially announced on Wednesday.

For the full news story, click here.

GLEN NOT WORRIED ABOUT PARTING WITH PICK: Some Knicks fans weren't happy that the Knicks including their 2016 first-round pick in the trade for Bargnani. The Knicks now have just one pick -- a 2015 first-rounder -- over the next three drafts.

"Obviously you'd like to have a lot of draft picks, but at the same time we use those draft picks to get good players; we're a good team because we use those draft picks and as we all know draft picks are not guarantees always," Grunwald said.

Here's what Grunwald said about sending the 2016 first-rounder to Toronto for Bargnani:

"It was already subject to a flip with Denver [as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade], so that it would be the least favorable of our pick or Denver's pick. Denver I think is going to be pretty good for a while. I didn't think we were at risk of giving up a really top pick," Grunwald said. "So again, you're looking at giving up a pick maybe in the 20s or something like that. I didn't think it was that valuable versus getting a really talented player like Andrea."

Grunwald also downplayed the idea that the Knicks made the trade for Bargnani in response to the Brooklyn Nets' headline-grabbing additions of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

"I think we’re always trying to get better," Grunwald said. "... We wanted to take another step forward this year and we felt that [acquiring] Andrea was a step forward for us and, notwithstanding what other teams do, we have to get better. We made a big step forward last season but obviously we're not satisfied and we need to continue to move this organization forward."

BARGS TO WEAR NO. 77: Bargnani will wear No. 77. His preferred number, seven, is currently worn by Carmelo Anthony.

"I was going to change my number anyway," Bargnani explained. "I always liked 77. I wanted to have it in Toronto."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Bargnani trade a big deal financially

July, 2, 2013

Glen Grunwald admitted two mistakes when he orchestrated the trade to bring Andrea Bargnani to New York.

The first was that he overpaid for Marcus Camby last summer.

Camby, 39, was plagued by injuries in 2012-13. He played in just 24 games after the Knicks acquired him in a sign-and-trade for Toney Douglas, Jerome Jordan, Josh Harrellson and two second-round picks.

[+] EnlargeAnthony/Bargnani
Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesBy bringing Andrea Bargnani to New York, the Knicks should have more wiggle room in 2015 to model the team around Melo.
By sending Camby's remaining salary of $7.5 million over the next two years to Toronto, Grunwald cleaned up a mistake.

The Knicks GM also erred in handing Steve Novak a four-year, $15 million contract last summer. Novak wasn't the sharpshooting weapon the Knicks envisioned he'd be last season under Mike Woodson. So Grunwald dumped Novak and the remaining $11 million of his contract on the Raptors.

Bargnani is owed $23 million over the next two years, so it's not as if the Knicks freed up cap space in the transaction. But they did clean up their books for the summer of 2015.

After the 2014-15 season, Amar'e Stoudemire ($23.4 million), Carmelo Anthony ($23.5 million), Tyson Chandler ($14.6 million) and Bargnani ($12 million) all come off the books.

Anthony has an early termination option after next season, so he can become a free agent in the summer of 2014, if he chooses.

But the addition of Bargnani gives the Knicks three expiring contracts in 2014-15 that could be attractive to opposing teams with cap space.

The subtraction of Novak leaves the Knicks with just a $3.8 million qualifying offer for Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton's $4.5 million player option and, presumably, money owed to Tim Hardaway Jr. going into the 2015-16 season. They are no longer obligated to pay Novak $3.75 million that year.

In other words, the Knicks will have plenty of cap space and money to throw at free agents in the summer of 2015, when Rajon Rondo, Goran Dragic, Eric Gordon, Danny Green, Thaddeus Young, Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, Brook Lopez and Roy Hibbert could be available after the season.

So the Knicks could remodel their roster around Anthony (presuming he stays in New York), Shumpert and Hardaway Jr. in the summer of 2015. (They should have enough cap space to add at least one max player that offseason).

The Knicks will have to be active in free agency to reshape the roster because they won't have much opportunity to make an impact in the draft. They sent their 2016 first-round pick (the Nuggets will have the opportunity to swap their pick with New York's, if they desire) and second-round picks in 2014 and 2017 to Toronto in the Bargnani deal. That leaves them with just one first-round pick (in 2015) over the next three years.

So the Knicks have taken a win-now approach for the next two seasons. That was true before the Bargnani trade; but the acquisition of Bargnani makes it easier to remodel things when their window of opportunity closes.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Bleak or bright future for 'Bockers?

June, 3, 2013
ESPN paneled a group of 215 NBA reporters, analysts and editors, and asked them to forecast the future of all 30 NBA teams.

The rankings were based on the teams' outlook over the next three seasons.

The consensus on the Knicks? Not so good.

The panel ranked New York 25th out of 30 NBA teams.

That's a dire assessment for a team that finished with the second best record in the Eastern Conference in 2012-13.

The rankings were based on the following five categories: roster (current players and future projections), management (including ownership, the front office and coaching), money (salary cap situation and willingness to spend over the luxury tax), the market's appeal to free agents and the team's future draft picks.

Do you agree with the bleak assessment of the Knicks' future? Or do you think New York's future is bright?

Let's take a look at the factors listed above:

ROSTER: As Kevin Pelton notes in his assessment of the Knicks, for the future forecast, New York probably won't have much opportunity to add a major free agent in the next two years because it is projected to be a luxury-tax payer. As a result, the panel ranked the Knicks' roster 18th out of 30 teams.

[+] EnlargeAnthony
Elsa/Getty Images Don't look up now, Melo. The Knicks' future doesn't look bright.
The books clear in 2015-16 though, when just Raymond Felton and Steve Novak are under contract. So the Knicks will have an opportunity to completely reshape the roster in the summer of 2015.

Prior to that, there may not be much opportunity for Glen Grunwald to wheel and deal unless he swings a major trade to clear cap space.

MANAGEMENT: The panel ranked Knicks management 21st, but I think that's a little low. Owner James Dolan has made many, many missteps during his tenure, but he deserves credit for ruling in favor of the trade for Carmelo Anthony, and for making a push to sign J.R. Smith. He also made the right call when the Knicks decided not to match the Houston Rockets' offer for Jeremy Lin.

Grunwald has had hits and misses but deserves a higher ranking for building a team that won 54 games. He added players that complemented Anthony well. One other plus for Grunwald? The Knicks should be -- at the very least -- competitive for the next two seasons.

Mike Woodson made his fair share of errors in the postseason, but deserves kudos for the way he navigated through injuries this season to lead the Knicks to a division crown and their first playoff series win since 2000.

As stated above, the Knicks' financial situation is less than ideal. The contracts of Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amar'e Stoudemire have left them little wiggle room.

They are expected to be tax payers for the next two years, so they're unlikely to add any big-money free agents. The new CBA carries a heavy penalty for repeat tax players. So they will have to improve through the draft and by attracting lower-tier free agents to New York. The panel ranks the Knicks' money situation 30th out of 30 teams.

New York will always be a city that attracts free agents. Between the marketing opportunities, nightlife and media exposure, the Big Apple is a big draw for the biggest stars in sports. But the days of athletes needing to be in a big market to get national recognition are over, so New York has lost a little luster in that regard.

The panel ranks the Knicks' market third, which seems fair to us.

DRAFT: The panel ranked the Knicks' 30th in this category, and rightfully so. The Knicks undoubtedly have the lowest potential to improve through the draft over the next three years of any NBA team.

New York has a first-round pick this year, but has no second-round pick (it's Washington's, via the Chandler sign-and-trade). They have traded their first-round pick in 2014 (to Denver in the Anthony trade) and their second-round pick (to Houston in the Marcus Camby deal). They are slated to receive Oklahoma City's second-round pick in 2014, and there's a small chance they get Sacramento's as well. They have a first-round pick in 2015, but no second-round pick (it went to Houston in the Camby trade). Taking it a step further, Denver has the right to swap first-round picks with the Knicks in 2016 via the Anthony trade and their second-round pick will go to Portland if it falls outside of the first seven selections, a result of the Raymond Felton sign-and-trade.

QUESTION: Given all of the factors above, what do you think of the Knicks' future? Is it bleak or bright?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Grunwald third in executive of year voting

May, 10, 2013
Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald finished tied for third in the executive of the year voting, the NBA announced Thursday.

Denver's Masai Ujiri won the award, and the L.A. Clippers' Gary Sacks came in second place. Grunwald tied for third place with Houston's Daryl Morey, who both totaled 25 points. Grunwald had two first-place votes. A panel of the GM's fellow basketball executives throughout the league did the balloting.

A few highlights for Grunwald include: going after seasoned veterans who could help the Knicks succeed faster with their win-now mentality; building a respectable point guard duo in Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd, with the uncertainty of Jeremy Lin's future looming; believing in Pablo Prigioni and Chris Copeland that they were worthy signees; not shopping Iman Shumpert at the trade deadline; and snatching Kenyon Martin.

While talking about K-Mart on Thursday, Mike Woodson credited Grunwald's work.

"Ever since [Martin has] come on board, he's been a major plus for our team," Woodson said. "We would've been totally lost had we not picked up Kenyon. I tip my hat to Glen Grunwald, our general manager, and Mr. Dolan for allowing us to bring him in, because we were beat up at that time with our bigs."

This season the Knicks had at least 50 wins (54) for the first time since 1999-2000, and they won their first Atlantic Division title in 19 years.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Woody: Knicks may make a move

March, 12, 2013
Are the Knicks going to make a roster move?

In light of the uncertainty surrounding the availability of Amar'e Stoudemire and Rasheed Wallace, New York reportedly will consider adding a player to the roster after their daunting west coast trip.

Mike Woodson said he and general manager Glen Grunwald will huddle once the team gets back to New York to decide whether they want to add a big man.

Stoudemire will be out for approximately six weeks following surgery to clean out debris in his knee. Wallace is out through the end of the regular season following surgery to repair a broken bone in his left foot. Both players' availability for the postseason is up in the air at this point, which is why the Knicks may explore adding a big man.

To add a player, the Knicks would need to release someone from their 15-man roster. Wallace reportedly won't be released. So that means the Knicks would need to cut a healthy player. James White, Kurt Thomas and Chris Copeland are obvious candidates.

Any player added to the roster needed to be released by his previous team prior to March 1 to be eligible for the postseason. Delonte West and Raja Bell are available, but they would't provide much help to the Knicks. New York can also acquire a player from the D-League, provided that player is on a D-League contract and does not have a contractual obligation to an NBA team.

Question: Do you think the Knicks should add a player? If so, who would you cut?

Grunwald: Teams have figured us out

February, 22, 2013
Glen Grunwald doesn’t have any magic solutions to end the Knicks’ two-month long slide.

He knows the team he put together needs to improve in several areas to pull out of its recent funk.

But he has drawn at least one conclusion while watching the Knicks go 14-14 in their last 28 games.

“Teams have adjusted to our offense a little bit and we need to continue to evolve,” Grunwald said Thursday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s “The Michael Kay Show.” "I’m very confident, Woody’s done a great job this year and he’ll figure out, going forward.”

After a strong start, the Knicks’ offense has been stuck in the mud at times in recent weeks.

During their 18-5 start, the Knicks averaged 111.1 points per 100 possessions.

In the 28 games since, they’ve averaged 106.1 points per 100 possessions.

Kay asked Grunwald if the Knicks had enough offensive firepower in their starting five. Instead of answering the question, Grunwald defended the roster he’d put together and interestingly deferred to Woodson.

“That’s really a question for Woody,” he said. “I think we have enough offense on our roster and it’s just a matter of, again, putting them in the right situations and I’m very optimistic that Woody’s going to get that right.”

DEADLINE DEALS: Grunwald admitted that the Knicks received “a number of inquiries” on Iman Shumpert but never considered dealing the second-year guard. Asked if he got any calls on Amar’e Stoudemire, Grunwald said, “We’ll say that we had a lot of interest in a number of our players.”

The GM added that he was never close to making a trade for a big-name player.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Veterans vital to team's success this season

November, 5, 2012
Don't tell Knicks GM Glen Grunwald that his team is too old to compete. He doesn't want to hear it.

"We think we didn't get older, we feel we got more experienced," the GM said recently.

That, of course, is up for debate. But, so far, it's hard to argue with Grunwald.

The Knicks are off to their first 2-0 start since the 1999-2000 season thanks in part to contributions from several veterans.

Thirty-nine year old Jason Kidd's helped infuse an element of ball movement into the Knicks' offense that was missing last season.

Kurt Thomas, 40, is the first big man off of Mike Woodson's bench.

Pablo Prigioni, the oldest rookie in the NBA at 35, has given the Knicks valuable minutes as a reserve point guard.

Heck, even 38-year-old Rasheed Wallace has made a couple cameos in New York's first two games.

"We've got those dogs," Tyson Chandler said of the Knicks' veterans.

Many see those "dogs" as way too old to learn any new tricks, but Woodson believes the Knicks veterans are a key element in their pursuit of a title.

"Young guys are not winning NBA titles," Woodson said last month. "When you go around the league and you look at the good teams, like the Miami Heat, the Celtics, the Bulls, the Spurs, the Lakers, they’ve got a variety of (veteran) players."

Still, a casual glance at this Knicks roster begs the question: just how old is too old?

The preseason addition of Wallace increased the Knicks' average age to 31.6, making them by far the oldest team in the league.

They're a full two years older than the 2nd oldest team -- the Miami Heat.

The Knicks' age, of course, has spawned countless jokes among NBA observers.

Marcus Camby, 38, says he's heard a few.

"We're an old team. We can't escape it; we're not running from it. That's who we are," the veteran forward said.

Grunwald hopes that age is a virtue for his team.

With the length of Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Chandler's contracts, the Knicks have a small 2-3 year window to win with this core.

So the GM surrounded his stars with a crew with elder statesmen that he hopes can lead them deeper in the playoffs.

"It takes veteran teams to win," Grunwald said.

Camby, for one, sees the Knicks' advanced age as a plus.

"I just think we've all been through those wars, we've been through those grinds," he said. "We know what it takes to win ball games. We know what it takes to pull out close ball games at the end. So, hopefully, we're going to bank on our experience."


That's the key word for the Knicks and their fans.

In the best-case scenario, the Knicks will be a deep, veteran-laden team that opponents don't want to see in the playoffs.

In the worst-case scenario, age catches up with them and they are less than 100% healthy in May.

Which way will things end up for New York?

You can call that an age-old question.

Question: What do you think about the Knicks age? Is it an advantage or a disadvantage?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Grunwald expects to re-sign Lin

May, 25, 2012
Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald doesn't foresee any reason why point guard Jeremy Lin would not be on the team next season.

"No, not at this time," Grunwald said.

Lin a restricted free agent. Because he has only played two seasons in the NBA, the Knicks can match any offer up to $5 million.

From the sound of it, Grunwald would want to.

"We're happy with our roster. We have two guards [Lin and Landry Fields] that are restricted free agents, so we will be able to retain them," Grunwald said Friday night, during his conference call to discuss coach Mike Woodson's contract extension.

"We can keep him if we want him, and we do want to keep him, and I believe that Jeremy had a great experience here. I believe he wants to come back."

Lin missed the last 22 games of the season, including five in the first round of the playoffs, recovering from a small chronic meniscal tear in his left knee. Woodson said the point guard is now feeling "great."

"He's gone through his rehab process, so he's back running and moving, like we expected him to be," said Woodson, who will travel to Las Vegas in early July to watch Lin to participate with the USA Men's Select Team. "Our doctors did a tremendous job on the surgery and our therapy people putting things back in place. So he will be ready to go, at full go [this season]."

Lin, 23, averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in 35 games last season. He sparked the Knicks' resurgence in January, when the floundering team reeled off seven straight wins.

Grunwald also addressed the Knicks' two other top free agents, Steve Novak and J.R. Smith. He said he "would love" for Novak, an unrestricted free agent, to return next season and he hopes Smith exercises his player option of $2.443 million.

Losing Smith, Lin or Fields would further deplete a Knicks backcourt that lost Iman Shumpert and Baron Davis to knee injuries in the playoffs.

"The question is: How do we fill out the rest because Baron suffered a pretty bad injury, so he's not going to be able to play next year," Grunwald said. "And Shump's going to be out for a little bit as he recovers from his injury. So we're going to have to see if we can upgrade the rest of the roster while Shump is out and to replace Baron."

Grunwald was asked about Smith's arrest Thursday night in Miami, but he didn't go into any detail about it.

Grunwald 6th in Executive of Year voting

May, 16, 2012
Knicks executive vice president and general manager Glen Grunwald finished sixth in Executive of the Year voting, announced Wednesday by the NBA.

Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird was named the winner. Rounding out the top six were San Antonio's R.C. Buford, the L.A. Clippers' Neil Olshey, Chicago's Gar Forman, Utah's Kevin O'Connor and Grunwald.

Grunwald started the season as the interim general manager, but based on his success signing Tyson Chandler, Steve Novak, Jeremy Lin and J.R. Smith (in that order), he earned his full-time job status in late April. And that's why sixth place might come as a surprise.

Grunwald's biggest challenges lie ahead. He has to figure out with the little wiggle room he has, salary-cap wise, how to re-sign Lin and other key role players to balance out the bench. Ironically, three of the guys he signed this season -- Lin, Novak and Smith -- will be the same ones he'll need to negotiate with, starting July 1. Securing Early Bird Rights for Lin and Smith would help -- and could make space for Steve Nash.

The Knicks, by the way, have never had an Executive of the Year winner.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Grunwald worried flu may spread

April, 28, 2012
In an interview on ESPN 1050's "The Michael Kay Show" on Friday, Knicks GM Glen Grunwald said he's concerned that the flu bug may be biting his team.

Tyson Chandler will be a game-time decision for Game 1 of the Knicks-Heat series on Saturday because of flu-like symptoms.

Toney Douglas also is dealing with the flu. It's unclear if Douglas passed it to Chandler. But Grunwald doesn't want to see any other Knicks affected.

"We're concerned about it. We're doing our best to try to minimize it," Grunwald told Kay.

To that end, the Knicks have separated Chandler from his teammates. Amare Stoudemire told reporters in Miami that Chandler was wearing a surgical mask to contain his germs.

"He's been in quarantine … but I'm sure he can handle it," Grunwald said with a laugh.

But if Chandler can't play, no one in the Knicks locker room will be laughing.

Chandler is the linchpin of a Knicks defense that has established itself as one of the best in the league this year.

Grunwald said the team is unsure if Chandler will play.

"He's pretty sick," the GM said. "We have our fingers crossed that he'll be ready to go but as of right now we're not sure."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Grunwald talks Isiah, Woodson

April, 28, 2012
Knicks GM Glen Grunwald played with Isiah Thomas at Indiana University. The two remain close to this day.

So Grunwald was asked on ESPN 1050's "The Michael Kay Show" on Friday if he had any plans to bring Thomas back into the Knicks organization.

"Isiah has been a great friend of mine for a long time," Grunwald told Kay. " We've worked together, we've been friends together. I don't want tho say anything about our staffing … we're not even going to deal with any of that right now."

In August 2010, Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan tried to hire Thomas as a consultant.

The hiring was essentially nixed by the NBA because of Thomas' position as head coach of Florida International University, which created a conflict of interest.

That conflict of interest no longer exists; Thomas was fired by FIU earlier this month. So there's been speculation that Thomas may re-join the organization in an official capacity.

Interim coach Mike Woodson also played at Indiana with Grunwald and Thomas.

On Friday, Grunwald was effusive of his praise of Woodson, whom he remains close with. But the GM stopped short of endorsing Woodson for the Knicks coaching job next season. He said the playoffs will factor into the decision and it would be one made by the organization, meaning Dolan will have input.

"I think Woody's done an unbelievable job and I can't imagine some one who could have done a better job that him this year. Obviously, he's really helped his case," Grunwald said. "The playoffs will be a factor but, like I said, I think he's done a better than good job, he's done a great job. The players have obviously voiced their support -- you've heard that -- so those are all positive things."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Grunwald praises Woodson, won't talk moves

April, 25, 2012
New York Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald was effusive in his praise of interim coach Mike Woodson on Wednesday.

But Grunwald stopped short of endorsing Woodson, his longtime friend, for the Knicks' full-time coaching job.

"We're not talking about any staffing questions today. .... Right now we just need to stay focused on the playoffs," Grunwald said when asked about the Knicks' coaching vacancy.

Grunwald was officially named as Knicks general manager on Tuesday. He had served as the team's GM on an interim basis since June, when he took over for ex-president and GM Donnie Walsh.

Grunwald's hiring could help Woodson's case to be retained as head coach. He and Grunwald played college basketball at Indiana together and they remain close.

"I've known Woody a long time and we've had our separations doing different jobs and stuff like that. It's amazing to see how he's grown as a person and as a coach in particular," Grunwald said. "He's always been a great guy and a wonderful person. But to see him as a head coach now after six years down in Atlanta, that kind of experience where he grew the team and really improved over the course of his tenure there, has really been impressive."

Woodson took over the Knicks on March 14 when they were six games under .500 and in the midst of a six-game losing streak. Since then, the Knicks have gone 17-6. They clinched a playoff berth last Thursday.

"Woody's done a fantastic job. I can't give him enough credit for the job he's done since here," Grunwald said. "Normal coaching changes don't result in such a dramatic improvement in a team's performance so I think that speaks very well of him."

But is it enough to land him the job on a full-time basis? That remains to be seen.

Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan has said that the team would reassess its coaching situation after the season. Many expect the Knicks to go after Phil Jackson, who won two of his 13 championship rings as a player with the Knicks. Jackson is currently retired from basketball. Kentucky coach John Calipari could also be a candidate. He has denied interest in leaving Kentucky.

If Woodson isn't retained by the Knicks, there should be several suitors for his services. But, according to two sources with knowledge of Woodson's thinking, his priority is to return to New York.

Woodson has publicly stated several times that he'd "love" to coach the team next season. He recently received a strong endorsement from Carmelo Anthony.

Grunwald didn't want to discuss Woodson's future or the future of any Knick expected to be a free-agent this summer, such as Jeremy Lin.

"I'm not focused on the summer right now. Certainly I've thought about it, but I think we need to stay focused on the moment," Grunwald said. "The playoffs are upon us. We have an opportunity as a team. Who knows what our next opportunity is to do something good? So let's stay focused on the playoffs right now, let's do as well as we can. And then let's evaluate after it's all done."

Grunwald said the final decision on the Knicks' next coach wouldn't solely be his. He said it would be an "organizational decision."

Walsh reportedly had autonomy during his tenure as Knicks president and GM but, according to reports, he was overruled by Dolan on the organization's decision to trade for Anthony last February.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Woodson 'very happy' for Grunwald

April, 25, 2012
Mike Woodson has known Glen Grunwald for a long time. Both played at Indiana together under Bobby Knight.

So it's no surprise when Woodson says he's 'very happy' that Grunwald was officially named the Knicks GM, a role he'd held on an interim basis since last July.

Of course he's happy that his friend has some job security. But he's also happy because Grunwald may help him get hired as the Knicks' head coach next season.

"I think it's fantastic. I think he's done an excellent job in terms of playing his role as a GM in terms of getting players and putting pieces in place," Woodson said after the Knicks' shoot around on Wednesday. "And I couldn't be more happier for him. I've known Glen a long time I know how hard he works and I'm very happy that he was able to get that done."

Woodson has led the Knicks to a 16-6 record since taking over for Mike D'Antoni on an interim basis on March 14. He has said repeatedly that he'd 'love' to coach the Knicks next season.

Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan said he will evaluate the Knicks coaching situation after the season ends.

The Knicks are expected to pursue Phil Jackson and may court other candidates, such as John Calipari. Though Woodson has given the team plenty of reason to retain him.

If the Knicks don't bring back Woodson, he will will undoubtedly get interest from other teams.

Two league sources with knowledge of Woodson's thinking say the coach's first priority is to return to New York.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.



Carmelo Anthony
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2