MIKE WOODSON and Tyrone Corbin lost their jobs, and Rick Adelman decided it was time to walk away from his.
Woodson and Corbin were fired yesterday and Adelman retired, creating coaching openings for three NBA teams.
Woodson was expected to be replaced after Phil Jackson was hired last month as New York Knicks president during a disappointing season for a team that expected to make the playoffs. He informed Woodson and the entire coaching staff they were being dismissed yesterday morning.
"The coaches and players on this team had an extremely difficult 2013-14 season, and blame should not be put on one individual. But the time has come for change throughout the franchise as we start the journey to assess and build this team for next season and beyond," Jackson said in a statement.
Woodson went 109-79 with the Knicks, a .580 winning percentage that ranks behind only Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy in franchise history. But after winning 54 games and the Atlantic Division title last season, the Knicks were only 37-45.
Jackson has said he won't insist the Knicks run the triangle, the offensive system he used in Chicago and with the Lakers, but has made clear his belief in it. TNT analyst Steve Kerr, who played for Jackson with the Bulls but has never been a coach, has repeatedly been mentioned as a top candidate.
Kerr said yesterday during his SiriusXM NBA Radio show that he and Jackson have remained close and that he expected to speak with him at some point about the job.
"It's going to be very interesting and obviously my name is being thrown around. I do anticipate at least being part of the conversation and we'll see where it all goes," Kerr said.
Jackson is scheduled to speak with reporters tomorrow.
The Jazz had no expectations for playoff success for this season after the departures of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, but declined to offer Corbin a new contract after they went 25-57. Corbin, a former Jazz player and assistant who replaced Jerry Sloan on Feb. 10, 2011, went 112-146.
"This has not been an easy decision, but after a thorough review process, we as an organization feel that this is the best decision for our franchise moving forward," general manager Dennis Lindsay said.
The Jazz' 25-57 record was the team's worst season since 1979-80, when it was 24-58 following the franchise's relocation from New Orleans.
Adelman won more than 1,000 games in 23 seasons, but the Minnesota Timberwolves were a disappointing 40-42 this season. He wanted to spend more time with wife Mary Kay, who has been treated for seizures over the last two years, and also thinks the Wolves need a fresh voice to help them try to persuade star power forward Kevin Love to remain in Minnesota.
"If anything, I felt if I coached another year and then his future comes up and my future is gone, that makes it even harder," Adelman said. "I think it's best for the organization to have somebody else coaching the team, give them a year to see what they can do and hear that voice. I think that's a much more positive situation for the organization. I feel strongly about that."
The Detroit Pistons are still looking for a full-time coach after firing Maurice Cheeks during the season, and the Los Angeles Lakers could decide to replace Mike D'Antoni after going 27-55 during an injury-plagued season.
* Bulls center Joakim Noah, the centerpiece of a defense that held opponents to a league-low 91.8 points a game was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year, the first Chicago player to win the award since Michael Jordan in 1987-88.
* The NBA fined Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri $25,000 for using profanity at a public rally Saturday before the Raptors hosted the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1.
* At Oklahoma City, Zach Randolph scored 25 points to help the Memphis Grizzlies defeat the Thunder, 111-105, in overtime and tie their first-round playoff series at one game apiece. Mike Conley added 19 points and 12 assists for the Grizzlies.