Or at least claim commissions on. Wednesday night’s OT loss to Indiana dropped the Knicks to 3-8 and a share of last place in the NBA’s Atlantic Division alongside the equally disappointing Brooklyn Nets. Though the Jason Kidd Deathwatch would probably make for an equally pertinent column, CBS Sports’ Ken Berger is pretty certain New York head coach Mike Woodson is a goner, a move he predicts will result in, “company man Herb Williams becoming the interim coach and the drumbeat building in the background for John Calipari (above) to make his long-awaited return to the NBA.” Sorry, Patrick Ewing.
Since the Knicks doubled down on Carmelo Anthony and his representatives with Creative Artists Agency, the organization has been reshaped in CAA’s image. Woodson, assistant GM Allan Houston and player personnel director Mark Warkentien all are represented by the agency. In re-signing another CAA client this past summer, J.R. Smith, the Knicks threw his brother, Chris, a bone in the form of a guaranteed contract. Chris is now toiling in the D-League while taking up a roster spot at MSG.
The Knicks are all-in with CAA in ways that few of their rivals could even imagine. Days before training camp began, GM Glen Grunwald was pushed aside in favor of Steve Mills, who was brought back for a second tour of duty due to his institutional knowledge of the Garden and connections to the game’s power brokers — especially, William “World Wide Wes” Wesley, whose path to Garden influence was paved with the Anthony trade.
CAA, via Wesley, also represents a certain decorated college coach in Lexington, Ky. Given the path they’ve chosen, the Knicks can’t get any of the NBA-ready players on Kentucky’s roster, but they can get the coach — and are perhaps the only team positioned to pay Calipari what it would take. One league executive surmised that the bidding would start at $8 million a year.
“That’s what Wes will be pushing,” one of the executives said. “That’s what CAA will be pushing.”
Berger acknowledges that Coach Cal’s previous NBA stint (notice I didn’t say “professional tenure”) “was a debacle that swept him away in a toxic wave of paranoia”. However, given the skills of MSG security, it shouldn’t be too hard to keep Calipari away from any parking lot confrontations (partially because there’s nowhere to park at Penn Station)