Knicks Fire David Fizdale, Steve Kerr Says ‘That Would Have Been Me 3 Years Ago!’
The last game the Knicks played they fell to the Denver Nuggets (14-6) by a whopping final of 129-92. This put them at a 4-18 record. Now, just 22 games into the season, head coach David Fizdale has been fired from the New York Knicks.
Knicks President Steve Mills and General Manager Scott Perry have expressed disappointment in the team and the coaching staff since early November, so this move was “inevitable,” according to one agent who represents coaches.
Fizdale, in two seasons with the Knicks, coached them to a 21-83 record. His overall coaching record (104 games with the Knicks and 101 games with the Memphis Grizzlies) is 71-134. Having signed a $22 million deal in 2018, the Knicks will be on the hook to pay the remaining years of his contract, valued at around $17 million.
The question now has come up about replacements. Early names include that of Mark Jackson, former Knicks guard and Brooklyn native. He coached the Golden State Warriors to a 51-31 record in the 2013-2014 season. San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon would be an interesting choice and she has expressed interest, according to a league source, if a long-term deal was on the table. Of course, Sam Mitchell has been mentioned at least for the short term. The former NBA Coach of the Year for 2007 has a reputation for getting solid effort from players.
Coaches from around the league are jumping in to weigh their thoughts on Fizdale’s departure from New York. San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said, “He’s a fine, talented young coach with a great pedigree, and it’s ridiculous to think you’re gonna bring a young guy in and after being there a minute and a half, you expect him to fix everything that’s been wrong there for a long time.”
Miami Heat head coach and close friend of Fizdale, Erik Spoelstra was disappointed when he said, “They had a very good coaching staff up there. Things just take time in this league. It’s really unfortunate they weren’t given the time to really do some work.”
Fizdale was the Knicks’ sixth different head coach since 2010. At one point, Steve Kerr was considering the job before taking his current role as head coach of the Golden State Warriors. “If I had gone to New York that would have been me like three years ago… Your job is dependent on a lot of things. The talent you coach, but just as important, the strength of the organization around you. It takes a really strong organization to help coaches and players get through difficult times,” Kerr said.
For now, we’ll have to wait and see who the Knicks bring in to replace Fizdale. They will face off against the Indiana Pacers (14-8) at home tonight as look for a much needed boost.
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