On This Date: Knicks fire Willis Reed and re-hire Red Holzman

November 10th 1978: Knicks fire Willis Reed and re-hire Red Holzman as head coach

A year removed from leading the Knicks to an Eastern Conference semifinals berth and a 43-39 record in the 1977-78 season, the team fired Willis Reed as head coach after beginning the season with a sub-par 6-8 record. In a reunion of sorts, the Knicks brought back Red Holzman as head coach after firing him at the conclusion of the 1976-77 season.

After retiring from the NBA in 1974, the Knicks hired Reed as head coach when he was only 35 years old. While having a solid first season as coach, his short tenure was marred by tension with the front office and a failure to translate from being a superstar to a coach.

To Reed, his main issue was being too honest. His honesty led to undue tension with referees and the front office at times. His tenure was undermined by rumors that then-Knicks owner Sonny Werblin wanted Kevin Loughery as a coach. The rumors drove a wedge between Reed and the front office.  Reed began to issue ultimatums to the front office, which ultimately led to his firing.

Holzman returned to the Knicks after being fired for enduring 3 straight losing seasons and not being able to replicate a championship roster.  Unfortunately, Holzman was not able to replicate the success he had during his first tenure.  Holzman had a sub-.500 record during his 2nd tenure with only one playoff berth.  (they were swept by the Bulls in the 1981 playoffs)

Holzman retired after the 1981-82 season and was succeeded by Hubie Brown.

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