New York Knicks to hire Mike Woodson, Andy Greer, Dice Yoshimoto as assistant coaches

Mike Woodson, New York Knicks (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Mike Woodson, New York Knicks (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks round out Tom Thibodeau’s coaching staff by hiring Mike Woodson, Andy Greer, and Dice Yoshimoto.

The New York Knicks are on the verge of finalizing Tom Thibodeau’s coaching staff by finalizing deals for Mike Woodson, Andy Greer, and Dice Yoshimoto to join the team as assistant coaches, as per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The three coaches join associate head coach Johnnie Bryant and assistant coach Kenny Payne to round out Thibs’ staff. Aside from Woodson’s affiliation with CAA, these moves signify Thibs’ preference for bringing a few familiar faces as a concession for both Leon Rose & William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley’s input in the coaching staff. Additionally, the hire of Woodson & Greer mark a reunion with the Knicks.

The New York Post first reported the connection the possibility of Greer and Yoshimoto following Thibs to New York. SNY reports it’s unclear whether the Knicks will add a sixth head coach to the staff.

Woody’s second go-around with the New York Knicks

Mike Woodson initially joined the Knicks in the summer of 2011 as an assistant coach on Mike D’Antoni’s staff. The hire was made to help D’Antoni fix the team’s middling defense. Woody played a major role in shaping the Knicks’ defense and eventually became the interim head coach after D’Antoni resigned midway through a struggling 2011-12 lockout campaign. Woodson finished the year 18-6 and, although the Knicks bowed out to the Heat in 5 games, earned the permanent head coaching position.

Woodson went 54-28 during his first full season as head coach in the 2012-13 season and took the Knicks to the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the first time since 2000. However, the Knicks took a sharp regression during the 2013-14 season, finishing 37-45. The hire of Phil Jackson marked the end of Woodson’s run in New York. Woody quickly joined Doc Rivers’ staff with the Los Angeles Clippers where he remained through the end of the 2017-18 season.

Woodson will look to utilize his head coaching experience to complement the youthful NBA inexperience of both Johnnie Bryant & Kenny Payne. Additionally, his knowledge of switching defense will help Thibs reshape his defensive principles in New York.

Reuniting with Andy Greer

Andy Greer returns to the New York Knicks for his second go-around with the team. Greer entered the NBA as an assistant coach under Jeff Van Gundy’s coaching staff in 2001. He served as an assistant alongside Thibs. Greer and Thibs both remained with the Knicks through the end of the 2002-03 season before joining Jeff Van Gundy’s coaching staff with the Houston Rockets to start the 2003-04 season.

Greer & Thibs remained on Van Gundy’s coaching staff until his firing after the 2006-07 season. Thibs joined Doc Rivers’ coaching staff with the Boston Celtics while Greer bounced around between the Memphis Grizzlies & Portland Trailblazers. Greer joined the Chicago Bulls to serve under Thibs from 2010 until his (Thibs) departure in 2015.

Greer then joined Thibs as an assistant with the Timberwolves from 2016-2018. Greer’s spent his NBA career as a defensive savant and will look to help the Knicks improve defensively. His synergy with Thibs, having worked with him for nearly 15 years, will help bolster the coaching staff.

Thibs’ Utility Man

Thibs also hired Daisuke (Dice) Yoshimoto to round out the coaching staff. Per Marc Berman, Yoshimoto’s considered as one of Thibs’ ultimate utility guys on the staff. Yoshimoto worked with Thibs on the Bulls as a video coordinator and later joined him with the Timberwolves. He recently served as the Director of Basketball Strategy and Video with the University of Georgia basketball team.

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Thibs’ coaching staff consists of a healthy mix of camaraderie, player development, and experience. These three facets are important pillars to constructing a healthy basketball development program that results in winning games.