Knicks' Woodson is 'family man'

Saturday night will be a homecoming of sorts for Mike Woodson.

Several members of the Woodson clan are expected to attend the Knicks-Pacers game at Conseco Fieldhouse.

"I'll definitely be there," said William Woodson Sr., Mike's brother.

It makes sense because Woodson, according to those close to him, is an extremely loyal person who makes family life a priority.

"He's definitely a family guy," says Mike's nephew William Woodson Jr., who also expects to attend Saturday's game. "We all do a lot of things as family and we've always been that way. We've always been a basketball family."

Mike Woodson has been a mentor to his nephew.

William Woodson Jr. grew up playing hoops with Mike. He remembers Mike showing him plenty of tough love on the court.

"He told us, 'I made it tough on you guys, because I wanted you to be the best possible player you could be,' " Woodson Jr. said by phone earlier this week.

Woodson Jr. emulated Mike growing up.

"He was a basketball player, I tried to be a basketball player. When he became a coach, I tried to become a coach," Woodson Jr. said.

One of William Jr.'s fondest memories of his uncle was the day he was selected by the Knicks in the first round of the 1980 NBA Draft.

"He became the icon of the family at that time, we were so proud of him," William Jr. said. "I remember going to school, telling everybody, 'Man, my uncle's playing for the Knicks!"

Now, Mike's coaching them, off to a 2-0 start as interim head man in New York. And William Jr. couldn't prouder.

"We're all rooting for him," William Jr. says, "Hoping for the best."