GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- There was a close connection between the two Mike's on the Knicks' bench that left one of them, Mike Woodson, saddened to see the man who gave him the opportunity to return to New York 31 years later, Mike D'Antoni, resign on Wednesday.
But Woodson wasn't the only Mike who had a similar connection from the sidelines, and was surprised and disappointed to see D'Antoni step down as head coach.
Mike Bibby was in the same boat, but the 13-year veteran didn't miss the playing opportunities D'Antoni gave him. He cherished more of the conversations they had as if they were coaching together, and he hopes to talk to him soon.
"He's a good guy, a real good guy," Bibby told ESPNNewYork.com. "I liked playing for Mike. ... We fed off each other a little bit, telling him what I think, telling me what he thinks. It was like a coach-coach relationship."
Now, Bibby finds himself in familiar territory with Woodson at the helm. Woodson coached Bibby for three seasons with the Hawks from 2007 to 2010, which included three straight playoff appearances. The only difference now is that Bibby is not the starting point guard, and he won't get much playing time looking ahead.
Based on his experiences in Atlanta, Bibby feels Woodson will help Jeremy Lin, but the second-year player has adjustments ahead of him because of the changes in the offense that will run more through Carmelo Anthony. The schemes will likely resemble those Woodson drew up for All-Star small forward Joe Johnson.
"We gotta wait and see how it turns out," Bibby said in regards to Lin's progression in the new system. "We ran a lot of stuff through [Johnson] and let him make plays and go from there."
Overall, Bibby said the whole team will feel a connection to Woodson, who will look to develop every player to the best of his ability.
"He's a fun coach and I love playing for him. He's one of my favorite coaches," Bibby said. "He's easy to get along with. He doesn't pick favorites and he wants the best out of everybody, so he treats everybody the same. He's a good guy."
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