Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Billy Knight's Last, Best Decision

The only link I can find as of right now is to a story labeled "press release" at RealGM but Billy Knight is resigning effective July 1st when his current contract ends. Whether he was asked to resign or is clever enough to realize his option was unlikely to be picked up by the owners who wouldn't let him fire the incompetent coach he once hired is anyone's guess. I think we should all be grateful that someone made a quick decision. This should (could?) accelerate the pace of installing a new management team who can, in turn, hire a new coach.

I'm still assuming that re-signing Joshes Smith and Childress is a foregone conclusion regardless of who is in charge.

UPDATE: Braves & Birds has beaten me to the punch in assessing the best and worst moves of Billy Knight's tenure. I'd only the following footnotes of my own to Michael's post: 1) Knight deserves credit for drafting Josh Childress as well. Picking Smith and Childress in the 2004 draft was terribly valuable. 2) On the flip side, turning the 5th and 33rd picks of the 2006 draft into Shelden Williams and Solomon Jones was about the worst possible use of resources. 2b) If they didn't take Brandon Roy because they already had Joe Johnson then I think that the Joe Johnson deal (about which I'm more ambivalent than almost everyone else to begin with) becomes a rather mixed blessing. 3) The damage done in drafting Marvin Williams cannot be overstated. Any other decision: drafting Chris Paul, drafting Deron Williams, trading down and getting a second first-round pick, hell, drafting Raymond Felton, would have been better for the franchise.

Ballhype: hype it up!


Anonymous said...

Got this from Hawksquawk-Gearon on 790 was pointing out the vote of confidence that JJ and Doc Rivers gave to Mike Woodson. It looks like this is BK pre-emptively stepping down to avoid being stuck with this head coach any longer.

Which means, we're going to be waiting a while to find a GM who's willing to come in here with Woody in charge.

Anonymous said...

Isn't there worry that Woodson earned some goodwill with the series against the Celtics? I mean, millions heard the TNT crew say what a good job he was doing...

What's Woodson's contract status, anyway? If there's only a year and not a lot of money, it'd be an easier fire.

Bret LaGree said...

Woodson's contract expires on June 30th but his does not have the team option Knight's had.

Woodson may have earned some goodwill with people who didn't watch the Hawks regularly, but (and admittedly I have a well-chronicled and extremely low opinion of Woodson) I think the big difference in the playoffs was the rare pleasure for the players of having a home-court advantage.

Bringing Woodson back on a new contract would irreparably alienate a significant portion of the (again, admittedly small) hard-core fan base. The people who give this team serious attention don't want another season of Josh Smith and Marvin Williams not learning any useful skills or watching Joe Johnson play 1-on-5 or posting up to create open 20' jump shots for Josh Smith to miss 70+% of the time.

As for Joe Johnson's stated desire that the team bring back Woodson, either he's an extremely decent and polite guy or he's part of the problem. If the Hawks are going to get significantly better it will be because Josh Smith becomes the best player on the team and Joe Johnson accepts that, at times, the offense will run through Smith (and to a lesser extent Al Horford) who will create open jump shots for Johnson to make.

Anonymous said...

Here are some links:

Yahoo -;_ylt=Anbgg3rVlpn7kqBne1u.PGK8vLYF?slug=ap-hawks-knightresigns&prov=ap&type=lgns


Looks like he decided that if they wouldn't let him fire Woodson then they would more than likely fire him before they did the coach. Personally, I have to give some credit to BK for his last draft and the move to get Bibby. It seems to me that he was aware that he had made some mistakes and was trying to correct those. Unlike Woodson, at least BK appears to know when he is wrong and is capable of learning from past mistakes and experiences. Woodson is just defiant in the face of logic.

Just looking at the players and the recent playoff series with the Celtics, it is obvious that this team is in a great position to improve given the right management and coaching. Unfortunately the ownership issues and their seemingly irresponsible desire to maintain Woodson as head coach are going to inevitably drive away any form of talented GM. I can surely see how it would feel like you were going into it with your hands already tied.

I hope I am wrong, but we might want to prepare ourselves for possibly losing one if not both Josh's as well as having to deal with Woodson for a few more years. I just have no faith in the ownership to do anything to improve the Hawks franchise or the Thrashers.


Anonymous said...

uh oh.