The Westchester Knicks concluded their inaugural season with a loss to the Canton Charge, 101-89, at the Westchester County Center, on Saturday, April 4. The Charge (31-19) is now preparing for the NBA Development League Playoffs, as the local Knicks head home, while their administration seeks to rebuild the team.
To say the least, the Westchester Knicks had a disappointing inaugural season, after becoming the NBA D-League’s 18th franchise, as the exclusive affiliate of the New York Knicks, on March 10, 2014.
The Westchester Knicks ended their inaugural season with a 10-40 record and did not make the playoffs. The County Center inhabitants lost the last 19 of 21 games. More devastating, they only produced one road win the entire season, while recording a 1-25 record on the road.
The local Knicks insurmountable amount of losses was certainly the reason for the firing of Kevin Whitted, the Westchester Knicks inaugural Head Coach. But why he was fired with four games remaining in the season remains a mystery?
Whitted was hired as the Westchester Knicks inaugural Head Coach, on October 8, 2014. The highlight of his tenure has to be the elevation of his original roster player Langston Galloway into the starting line-up of the NY Knicks.
On March 30, Whitted was replaced by Assistant Coach Craig Hodges, as the Westchester Knicks Interim Head Coach. Hodges played in the NBA for 10 seasons and is a disciple of NY Knicks President Phil Jackson. Hodges won two NBA Championships (1990-’91 and ‘91-‘92) with the Chicago Bulls, when Jackson was their Head Coach. Hodges was also an assistant coach under Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2005-2011.
Now the only two questions that remain regarding Hodges are whether he is hired as the Westchester Knicks second Head Coach in franchise history and can he create a winning team at the County Center?
“I have not heard anything (concerning my status as coming back as the Head Coach). It is enough said that the season is over and I am disappointed. I am a Champion and nobody could have told me that this would be our record this season,” stated Hodges.
Hodges went to reflect on the Westchester Knicks inaugural season and his chances of returning as Head Coach. “This is a good situation but it is not my decision, it is their decision, if it was my decision, I would definitely be back just from the bitter taste in my mouth,” commented Hodges.
The Westchester Knicks undoubtedly were a major disappointment on the court concerning competing with other teams in the NBA D-League. However, as far as their fan base, they were winners merely for making Westchester County and the Westchester County Center their home.
The County Center for the Westchester Knicks 24 home games, registered a 90 percent capacity overall, with an average attendance of 1,906 fans per game in an arena that seats 2,119. Furthermore, there was never a lack of enthusiasm or fan participation at any home game.
“I feel the fans in Westchester County deserve a playoff team. I feel while playing across the country, we are probably the top two or three venues as far as fan support,” said Hodges. “We appreciate the fans coming out and we thank them very much for their support. It is indicative of New York fans; they are knowledgeable of the game and they stick with you through thick and thin,” concluded Hodges.