The former Knicks coach once laughed at the thought of coaching college basketball. But then the NBA lifer got a call from Indiana with the chance to revive the Indiana program at which he once was a star — and to go home.
Mike Woodson rejected the idea immediately. Coach college basketball? He dismissively laughed at his friend and one-time assistant coach, Darrell Walker, a few years ago.
No way. No chance. Not him.
He had spent decades in the NBA. Eleven seasons as a player. More than seven as a head coach, including the memorable 54-win campaign and run to the Eastern Conference semifinals with the Knicks in 2012-13. And another 12-plus as an assistant.
“I remember him really cussing me out: ‘Have you lost your damn mind?’” Walker recalled with a laugh.