David Fizdale can empathize with Kenny Atkinson’s situation, and now he is implying that the former Brooklyn Nets head coach did not have enough support from his players.
In an recent appearance on ESPN Radio, the ex-New York Knicks coach Fizdale gave his opinion on the firing of Atkinson in Brooklyn.
“When it comes to players with power, your front office has to really be strong and your culture has to be strong to weather disgruntled players,” Fizdale said, per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “And you have to have a certain amount of support for your coach so when things get turbulent.”
Fizdale also added that Atkinson’s firing was even more gutting than his own dismissal by the Knicks in December.
“It’s a punch to the gut to see a colleague like that who went through the mud with the organization and really started with the foundation and really helped build the team to where it is,” Fizdale said. “It as a kick in the stomach to hear that. Even more than my situation. I was 4-18. I can take it. I’m a big boy. But I think to see Kenny under the circumstances, they were seventh seed in the East, he had taken that team from a lot of Ls to now a team that was starting to become a regular in the playoffs … And to see that happen so abruptly, when it happened, the way it happened, it was a kick in the stomach.”
Indeed, Atkinson was surprisingly let go in the middle of his fourth season in charge despite the Nets being on the upswing with an injury-depleted roster and coming off their first playoff appearance since 2015. He was also one of the longer-tenured head coaches in the Eastern Conference, behind only Erik Spoelstra, Brad Stevens, and Brett Brown.
There were reports that some of Brooklyn’s stars had a hand in the firing, and Fizdale seems to think that his fellow coach got undeservingly snaked here.
Rick Carlisle’s response to David Fizdale being fired by the New York Knicks is probably not what you would expect.
Carlisle, head coach of the Dallas Mavericks and president of the NBA Coaches Association, would be expected to sympathize with Fizdale after his firing. But Carlisle took a different approach — stating he’s “happy” that Fizdale escaped a horrible situation that wasn’t his fault.
There’s a large degree of truth to this. The Knicks have a horrible roster that Fizdale didn’t build, and there’s only so much he can do with that. Ultimately, he didn’t win enough games, and that was always going to cost him his job, but Fizdale might be better off now that he’s out of that situation — nobody else is going to do any better, and he can set himself to finding a job that gives him a better chance to succeed.
As for the Knicks, there are only 30 NBA coaching jobs, and they’re hard to get, so someone will step up and take New York’s. Still, it’s not exactly a quality advertisement for the position, especially when Carlisle’s beliefs are being echoed by other big-name coaches in the business.
David Fizdale was fired by the New York Knicks on Friday, and the move did not go over well with many.
Most recognize the Knicks have a poorly constructed roster, bad owner, and team that hasn’t won more than 32 games for five straight years. They view Fizdale as a scapegoat for the organization’s problems. Gregg Popovich certainly thinks so.
The San Antonio Spurs head coach weighed in on the Fizdale firing when speaking with the media on Friday. He called it “ridiculous” and “unfair.”
He’s right. This was only Fizdale’s second season as the team’s head coach. You’re expecting a huge turnaround after one and a quarter seasons, especially after stocking your roster with tons of power forwards in free agency? It’s lunacy.
But after eight straight losses, two of which came by blowout, the Knicks felt someone had to be accountable, and that’s why they fired Fizdale. It was an unfair move by a bad organization, but should be a lesson learned if you’re a potential head coach: this is what you’re in for if you take that job.
The New York Knicks were blown out at home on Thursday night for their eighth straight loss, and that was apparently the final straw for head coach David Fizdale.
The Knicks fired Fizdale on Friday. New York fell to 4-18 on the season with the 129-92 loss to the Denver Nuggets. The blowout came after the Milwaukee Bucks beat them by 44 points on Monday night. Several prominent reporters speculated that the Denver loss would be Fizdale’s final game with the Knicks, and that turned out to be the case.
The Knicks have arguably the worst roster in the NBA after they missed out on all of the big-name free agents over the summer, and firing Fizdale is the easiest “fix” they can make at the moment. The coach was in his second season with the team after going 17-65 last year.
There has been talk for quite some time that Fizdale would lose his job before the end of the season, though there was reportedly a reason the Knicks contemplated not making a move just yet. However, they’re on pace for another historically bad season and felt they could not stand pat.
Fizdale was given hardly anything to work with in New York, so there’s a chance other teams will give him the benefit of the doubt when he starts sending his resume around again.
The New York Knicks were blown out at home on Thursday night for their eighth straight loss, leading many NBA reporters to speculate that a David Fizdale firing could be imminent.
The Knicks lost 129-92 to the Denver Nuggets to fall to 4-18 on the season. It was the team’s second straight ugly loss as they fell to the Bucks by 44 points on Monday night. Fans were booing at Madison Square Garden.
While the game was winding down, The New York Times’ Marc Stein said he felt a coaching change felt “inevitable.”
The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn seemed to speculate about a possible Fizdale firing as well.
So did others.
The Knicks have a flawed roster that was built upon the signing of multiple power forwards over the summer. The decision-makers leading the franchise have done a poor job, but the easiest and quickest fix is firing Fizdale.
Fizdale is in his second season as the team’s head coach. He went 17-65 last season. There reportedly was a reason why the Knicks hadn’t made a move, but they may choose to now.
David Fizdale might be the NBA coach whose job is in the most jeopardy right now, but he could at least have one reason for feeling temporarily safe.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reported on Thursday that the one major deterrent to the New York Knicks making a coaching change by Thanksgiving is the sketchy alternative of promoting one of Fizdale’s assistants in his stead. That list of assistants includes Keith Smart, Jud Buechler, and Kaleb Canales.
Fizdale, who is in his second year with the Knicks, went 17-65 last season and has overseen another miserable 4-11 start to 2019-20. He signed a four-year deal with the team with at least one more season fully guaranteed in 2020-21.
The ex-Miami Heat assistant is not inspiring much confidence lately, but the Knicks’ unique circumstances may just keep him employed for the time being.
The New York Knicks lost a nail-biter to the Charlotte Hornets this weekend, and coach David Fizdale once again came under fire for a tactical decision.
On the final possession of a one-point game, Fizdale chose to sit star rookie RJ Barrett and insert sharpshooter Wayne Ellington, who had not played for the entire game. The Knicks wound up letting Julius Randle take a long contested fadeaway, which he missed.
On Monday, Fizdale gave a strange reason to reporters for why he sat Barrett.
“[Ellington was in] just as a distraction, to try to open up floor for Julius to have a driving lane,” he said, per Marc Berman of the New York Post. “Trust me, more nights than not RJ Barrett will be in the game at crunch time.”
It does seem rather strange to sit one of your best offensive players in a one-point situation for the purposes of trying to better distract an opponent. It is especially so considering that Barrett had already scored 22 points in the game and is arguably a better, more efficient driver than Randle.
Granted, Fizdale definitely seems to be on the hot seat right now, and he is not doing much to help his cause with baffling decisions like this.
New York Knicks coach David Fizdale is in the second year of a four-year deal, but it does not sound like he’s likely to see the season out, much less the contract.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Knicks president Steve Mills has begun “laying the groundwork” for Fizdale’s eventual firing, and has worked to convinced owner James Dolan that the roster he’s constructed is good enough to compete but isn’t being coached well enough. In a surprising postgame news conference Sunday after the team’s 21-point loss to Cleveland, Mills said the Knicks lacked a “consistent level of effort and execution,” a clear shot at Fizdale’s coaching.
One Knicks source said the front office is preparing to make Fizdale “the fall guy” due to the team’s 2-8 start.
Fizdale originally prioritized the Knicks job, but it has not gone the way he thought it would to say the least. The team traded its star and struck out in free agency when it came to landing stars. Mills is transparently trying to stay in Dolan’s good graces despite a 48-126 record as the team’s president, and that means throwing Fizdale under the bus, even if this isn’t completely his fault and partially down to roster construction. When that’s the way the organization is being run, it’s no wonder they’re such a disaster.
Tom Thibodeau may no longer be in the NBA, but his spirit lives on in New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale.
After the Knicks suffered a 113-92 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday, Fizdale defended the heavy minutes he was giving to rookie star RJ Barrett.
“He’s got the day off tomorrow,” said Fizdale, per Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. “We gotta get off this load management crap. Latrell Sprewell averaged 42 minutes for a season. This kid’s 19 years old. Drop it.”
Barrett, who is averaging 17.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game so far this season, played a whopping 41 minutes on Sunday, despite the game being a blowout from the first half onward. That brought his total on the year to 37.1 minutes per game, and he now leads the league in total minutes played.
While Barrett should indeed be getting significant playing time so that he can develop, there is a balance to be struck between that and not trotting him out unnecessarily in noncompetitive situations. All told, this is not the first time that Fizdale’s game management has come into question.
Kristaps Porzingis’ decision to demand the New York Knicks trade him came as a surprise to many, including his former head coach.
Knicks coach David Fizdale admitted that he was “really surprised” at Porzingis’s trade request, indication that its suddenness caught the organization off guard.
The Knicks granted Porzingis’ request quickly. It happened so quickly, in fact, that some interested teams didn’t even know he was available until he was already a Dallas Maverick. It doesn’t paint the prettiest picture of a Knicks organization that seemingly rushed into a trade that they didn’t really know they’d be making not long before they actually made it.