Mike Woodson coached the Atlanta Hawks to 47 regular-season wins and a playoff berth that led to the Eastern Conference semifinal round.
Yet he will enter next season in the final year of his contract after management did not reach out with a new deal Thursday. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the subject didn't even come up when Woodson and general manager Rick Sund met to talk business.
But rather than begrudge his bosses, Woodson told the Journal-Constitution he will embrace the challenge in 2009-2010 of proving himself worthy of another contract. He is working under a two-year extension signed before Atlanta's just-finished season.
"There's always pressure, if you want to call it that," Woodson told the newspaper Thursday. "I don't look at it as pressure because I'm not made like that. All these people talking about fire Woodson and all that stuff, it's never entered my mind. I swear.
"The chatter is what it is. But we're not going to do anything but keep pushing ahead trying to take another step next year."
The Hawks have been a success story simply because of their surge in victory totals under Woodson. After a 13-win season in 2004-05, they have won 26, 30 and 37 games before going 10 better this season, at 47-35.
The Hawks eliminated the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs. In the semifinals against Cleveland, playing short-handed because of injuries to key players Joe Johnson, Al Horford and Marvin Williams, Atlanta was swept in four games.
"Mike and his staff did a good job this year," Sund said, according to the Journal-Constitution. "We won 47 games and locked up a top-four seed. In our business, that's not something that can be dismissed."
But still, no extension for Woodson.
"I think we're all on the same page going forward, and that's all you can ask for," Woodson told the newspaper. "Sure, we want to feel loved, my staff and myself. We've put in a lot of hard work over these last five years. But ultimately, it's been about my players and the job they've done."