Woodson says he'd coach triangle

ByOhm Youngmisuk and Ian Begley ESPN logo
Wednesday, March 19, 2014

NEW YORK -- Phil Jackson spent a part of his first day as New York Knicks president chatting with Mike Woodson and the coaching staff before addressing the team later in the afternoon. He also received a standing ovation from the Garden crowd during Wednesday's Knicks-Pacers game.

Woodson confirmed that he and Jackson spoke today at the team's practice facility in Greenburgh, N.Y.

"We spoke a little bit today," Woodson said before the Knicks faced the Indiana Pacers. "Came in and introduced himself to the coaches and we chatted a little bit."

Later, Jackson met with the team at Madison Square Garden. 

He introduced himself to the players briefly and shook their hands.

"He was just excited about joining," Carmelo Anthony said. "He came in and ... said how excited he was about this opportunity and told us to focus on the game."

Anthony also said he's "on the same page" with Jackson a day after Jackson said at his introductory press conference that there was room for Anthony to improve his game.

"I love it. I don't think that was anything bad that he said," Anthony said. "As an individual over the years, I think I've gotten better as a player, playing at a very high level as an individual. Like right now. For him to come in and say that, we're on the same page. There's a whole other level that I haven't taken this to. I feel each season I've gotten better so just as Phil can teach, I can rely on him, talk to him, use him as a mentor to try and get to that next level."

Jackson also said that Anthony, who plans to test free agency this summer, is in the team's future plans.

"It's good to hear that. I'm blessed and honored to hear that," Anthony said. "I'm glad, I was hoping that I would be part of the future plans. I never once said that I wanted to leave New York or anything like that. The only thing I said was that I wanted to dabble in free agency that I could opt out and become a free agent. I'm excited about that. I'm excited about the opportunity to hopefully go forward with Phil."

Woodson did not divulge any details of his talk with Jackson but said he was pleased to hear that his new boss was complimentary of him during Jackson's introductory press conference on Tuesday.

Woodson was asked if he can coach the triangle system if Jackson wants him to next season.

"Could I teach it? Absolutely, I can teach it," Woodson said. "But it'd be even better if he helped me teach it. That would be great. Who would be better in teaching the triangle than Phil Jackson?"

"So if that might be the case and I get that opportunity, sure, I think, I know I can teach the triangle offense," Woodson added. "It's basketball. It's what we do."

Woodson said he has some experience with the triangle when he was in Milwaukee under Chris Ford with Ray Allen, Vin Baker and Glenn Robinson.

"We fooled with it a little bit, but we weren't as good as Chicago and how they ran it," Woodson said.

Woodson was gracious when asked about his reaction to owner Jim Dolan revealing that he did initially ask Jackson about the possibility of coaching the Knicks when Dolan first discussed Jackson joining the Knicks. Jackson wasn't interested in coaching.

Woodson said he had no idea that took place until Dolan said that on Tuesday.

"Mr. Dolan, this is his team, he has that right to talk to anyone about a coaching position," Woodson said. "It happened obviously but I'm the coach of the Knicks right now, I still have a job to do and as long as I'm coach of this team I'm going to try to put my best foot forward in terms of trying to get this goal accomplished in terms of trying to get this team into the playoffs."

"But again this is Mr. Dolan's team," Woodson said. "He has every right to approach anybody about my job."