Knicks Fire Head Coach

Knicks Fire Head Coach

The New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale has been fired earlier this week following back-to-back blowout losses and a rough start to the season. The Knicks have lost eight straight games, dropping to an Eastern Conference worst of 4-18 for the season. This record is currently the second-worst record in the NBA.

The team suffered a 129-92 loss to the Denver Nuggets at Madison Square Garden on Thursday. Afterward, Fizdale himself called the result “sickening.” This humiliating loss likely finalized the decision to fire Fizdale and look for a more effective replacement.

On top of this, assistant coach Keith Smart was also fired, and assistant coach Mike Miller has been named the team’s interim coach. However, this may not be the final major shakeup for the Knicks this season. Discussions with owner James Dolan have left top executive Steve Mills under the impression that the front office would be safe if the team showed progress. This has ultimately not been the case, and if the team continues to struggle as it has, Mills could be let go next.

The decision was not a surprise, as Fizdale was 21-83 in two seasons with the struggling franchise. His .202 winning percentage is the worst in the team’s history. He is still owed by the organization the remainder of his four-year, $22 million contract and has not spoken much on the decision since.

Fizdale was originally hired under expectations of being able to rebuild the Knicks roster during last summer’s free agency rush. He was acclaimed by the star players he worked with as an assistant under Erik Spoelstra in Miami and seemed to be a promising choice as head coach. These connections were expected to make him a valuable recruiter in free agency, but after Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving brushed off the Knicks in favor of the Brooklyn Nets, the Knicks were forced to pivot and build a different sort of team. The team structure they ended up with proved ineffective and led to an embarrassment of a season. The blame for this has been focused mainly on Fizdale himself for not coming through and rebuilding the Knicks during the offseason.

While the remainder of the 2019-2020 season appears unsalvageable for the Knicks, their decision to start over and find a new head coach is certainly progress.

 

Sources:

O’Shaughnessy, Haley, et al. “’Heat Check’: Will Kevin Get Love, the Knicks Fire Fizdale, and Untucked Jerseys.” The Ringer, The Ringer, 9 Dec. 2019, www.theringer.com/2019/12/9/21003753/heat-check-will-kevin-get-love-the-knicks-fire-fizdale-and-untucked-jerseys.

Stein, Marc. “Knicks Fire Coach David Fizdale.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 6 Dec. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/12/06/sports/basketball/david-fizdale-knicks-coach-fired.html.