But when you lose by 44 and chalk it up as something that happens and you follow it by trailing by 43 points in an eventual 37-point defeat, then change is usually in the air. And with a 21-83 record since taking over it’s hard for anyone to argue he shouldn’t go. “I don’t care about all that,” Fizdale said. “I don’t even think about that, really. I think about the next team we’re playing, I think about the guys in the locker room and how I can help them. At the end of the day, that’s all I care about.”
Asked if he believed he was still, as has often been stated, on the same page with the front office, he said, “Yeah. Absolutely. I’m still coaching this team. I’m still pushing them. I’m still preparing them. We had a hell of a practice before this game, it was just a disappointing output.” “You can’t let the rope go,” Taj Gibson said. “You’ve got to continue to keep fighting, continue to keep pushing, because nobody in this league is going to feel sorry for you. Fiz is doing a good job preaching and keeping guys in tune, but at the same time we have to do a better job, including myself. He can’t keep taking the bullets for us. We have to step up. We have to grow. We have to mature and mature quickly.”
The Knicks trailed by 43 points in the fourth quarter three nights after a 44-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, and Fizdale said the team's effort was "sickening."
According to a league source, if the Knicks made an in-season coaching move one of two assistants – Mike Miller or Pat Sullivan – would likely be promoted. Miller coached the Knicks G League affiliate. Coincidentally, assistant coaches Keith Smart and Kaleb Canales all have head coaching experience. Royal Ivey, who has drawn interest around the league over the summer, and Jud Buechler would not be under consideration.
The lingering question after the Knicks' 44-point loss in Milwaukee is this: how much longer will David Fizdale be on the sidelines? We don't have a definitive answer, but one member of the organization said late last month that he expected management to fire Fizdale soon, per SNY sources. The person who expressed the thought isn't someone who would make the decision to fire Fizdale. But the idea that a member of the Knicks believes a coaching change is coming says a lot about the level of uncertainty in New York right now.
If Fizdale is fired in-season, he'll have two years left on his contract, according to reports. It's unclear if those two years are fully guaranteed. Mills and Perry also have years remaining on their deals. Mills, per sources, has a double option on one of the remaining years of his deal. So Dolan would pay them money not to work if he decides to fire them.
If Mills fires Fizdale, the next question is if he and Perry will keep their jobs beyond this season. In a conversation with Mills and other front office members after the Mills/Perry press conference, Dolan gave off the impression that Mills and Perry would be safe if the team showed progress, as SNY reported. Just how Dolan defines progress is unclear. But if Fizdale is fired, it seems as if the Knicks would have to play much better under the interim coach for Mills and Perry to keep their jobs and have a chance to hire another coach in the offseason.
According to sources, the club would need to suffer a severe slide for anything to happen to Fizdale in the near future with the won-loss record not the key barometer. Progress, competitiveness and player development are paramount.
The Knicks had to really sink south for a coaching change to be made by Game 20. Indications are it was far-fetched for a change to be made this early anyway. Was owner James Dolan, who has given Fizdale private reassurances, really going to let president Mills hire a new coach from the outside on a long-term deal with Fizdale still having at least one season fully guaranteed on his pact for 2020-21? Sources indicated the major deterrent to making a change at Thanksgiving was the sketchy alternative of promoting one of the assistants – Jud Buechler, Keith Smart or Kaleb Canales.
How does David Fizdale tune out the speculation about his job status? The Knicks coach revealed Tuesday that he has the backing of the one fan who matters most: Knicks owner James Dolan. “Every game, every game. Jim Dolan comes in and gives me a vote of confidence, a pat on my back and really has just been incredibly encouraging over the last year and a half or whatever it’s been,” Fizdale said. “All we talk about is just sticking to the process of making these guys better and building for a future of sustainable winning.”
One step: Mills and general manager Scott Perry addressing the media after Sunday’s loss to the Cavaliers while Fizdale was still in the locker room. Mills and Perry stressed that the team wasn’t meeting expectations, seemingly a veiled shot at the coach. Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN: The dismissal of David Fizdale is inevitable, and there was, I think, a bond broken between management and their head coach with how they handled things after that loss Sunday night.
Despite their frustrations following the loss at Chicago -- one in which they turned the ball over 18 times and were outscored 52-46 in the paint -- Knicks players were still adamant in their support of the second-year coach. "We've got 9-10 new guys? We've got 10 guys that have not played together at all and me who hasn't even been in the league yet," said rookie RJ Barrett. "You're gonna have some challenges, but you've got to keep pushing, keep pushing through everything. That's all I can really say. You've just got to stay together. "He's up to the challenge. We believe in him," he continued. "We're staying together, and like we said, we're all-in with him and are just gonna keep fighting together."
Fizdale didn't seem fazed by the speculation during Tuesday's shootaround, telling reporters, "It's always a media firestorm in New York, so for everybody else this is a big deal, but for us, it's a normal environment. So, our guys are focused, they're connected."
Despite another defeat, there was a clear attempt to calm roiling waters surrounding Fizdale. Sources indicated Mills and Perry felt their unprecedented James Dolan-inspired press conference Sunday came off as too harsh in the form of pinning the blame on the coach.
Eric Woodyard: Knicks coach David Fizdale says the last couple of days haven’t created any tension. “It’s always a media firestorm in New York, so for everybody else this is a big deal but for us it’s a normal environment,” he said. “So, our guys are focused, they’re connected.” pic.twitter.com/PWToA0wWUF
Several people familiar with the matter told SNY on Monday that Mills, Perry and Fizdale are all under greater scrutiny amid New York's 2-8 start. "Everyone's on notice," one source said. So the notion that Mills, who has served as either president or GM of the Knicks (under Phil Jackson) since 2013-14, would be immune to the consequences that would come of New York continues to underperform is inaccurate.
Chris Mannix: Should the Knicks eventually move on from Fizdale, there are in-house options -- Keith Smart has been a head coach, Kaleb Canales was an interim coach in Portland -- but the name to be watched is Mark Jackson. He was a pre-Fiz candidate and a favorite of GM Scott Perry.
Ian Begley: David Fizdale says management has been supportive of him when asked about ESPN report that president Steve Mills has laid groundwork to fire him. Asked if he’s gotten any assurance from management, Fizdale notes that he has 2.5 years left on his contract.
Ian Begley: Steve Mills, Scott Perry and David Fizdale talking after practice today. Fizdale said he met with Mills and Perry this morning, as he does almost every morning. When asked about it, Fizdale said he feels he, Mills and Perry are together in sharing blame for Knicks’ bad start. pic.twitter.com/0yi21paf5s
Even before a startling news conference in the wake of a blowout loss to Cleveland, New York Knicks president Steve Mills had started to lay the internal groundwork for the eventual dismissal of coach David Fizdale, league sources told ESPN. Mills is selling owner James Dolan on a roster constructed to be highly competitive in the Eastern Conference, leaving Fizdale vulnerable to an ouster only weeks into the second season of a four-year contract that league sources say is worth $22 million.
Rival coaches and executives see a mismatched Knicks roster slow of foot, without legitimate NBA guard play but Mills is selling Dolan on a poorly coached team that is underachieving at 2-8 to start the season, league sources said. Around Madison Square Garden and the league, the timing and tone of the news conference was met with considerable surprise and dismay -- and considered completely undermining of Fizdale. "Everyone is moving to their positions now," a league source close to management and the coaching staff told ESPN. "This is how they'll make (Fizdale) the fall guy."
Sources told SNY that high-ranking MSG officials weren't thrilled after last Sunday's 113-92 home loss to the Sacramento Kings -- which is understandable, given the result.
Multiple SNY sources familiar with the matter said as recently as Thursday that there was no indication that any major coaching or management change was imminent. But those sources stated that nothing had been ruled out with regard an in-season front office or coaching change.
"Given that this is our 10th game, we felt like we had an obligation to come and speak to you guys," Mills said. "Obviously, Scott and I are not happy with where we are right now. We think the team's not performing to the level that we anticipated or we expected to perform at and that's something that we think we have to collectively do a better job of delivering the product on the floor that we said we would do at the start of this season.
David Fizdale, of course, was resilient and unflinching in his ownership of the mess to date. “I take the brunt of this responsibility because I’m the head coach,” he said. “I make these decisions of what’s going on on the court, what players play, who plays together, what plays we call, the defense system — that’s on me. As much as I appreciate them, I own it. That’s just who I am.”
Knicks fans may want to blame David Fizdale for the team’s awful start, but the coach appears to have the backing of the two people who matter most — general manager Scott Perry and president Steve Mills. “They have been incredibly supportive. We talk every day,” Fizdale said Wednesday before the Knicks played the Pistons. “The beauty of what’s happening inside our building is everyone is connected. They all see the work we are putting in."
Fan frustration boiled over in the second half of the 113-92 loss as the crowd booed and some chanted: “Fire Fizdale.” “I don’t think about that,” Fizdale said when he was asked about the crowd behavior. “I was more concerned about our performance from my seat. I can’t get caught up with how everybody else is feeling.”
If Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry are antsy over the team’s 1-6 start, they have not conveyed that to coach David Fizdale. The common refrain is this newly constructed roster with 10 new faces is going to take some time to mesh. The Knicks are tied with New Orleans for the NBA’s worst start.
“They’ve been incredibly supportive,” Fizdale said after Wednesday’s morning shootaround at Detroit Country Day before the Knicks faced the Pistons. “We talk every day. The beauty of what’s happening inside our building is everyone is connected. They all see the work that we’re putting in.”
Sources have indicated it’s way too early to start any Fizdale Watch — not with this new roster that needs tender loving care because of its complexities. How bad would it look for Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry to fire Fizdale on Dec. 1 after one season and one month after they passed on Mike Budenholzer, Mark Jackson and David Blatt and didn’t interview Steve Clifford?
Fizdale was a good soldier during last season’s 17-win tank-a-thon, but how hard this team plays in the next few weeks is worth watching. One name to consider if the season really starts to careen: Mark Jackson. The ex-Warriors coach (and ex-Knick) was a favorite of GM Scott Perry during the interview process in 2018, and Jackson has made no secret about his desire to coach again. Fizdale won’t be expected to perform miracles with this group but New York can’t let the season slip away quickly.
August 8, 2022 | 3:18 am EDT Update
Hoop Central: Paolo’s IG story. ‘Lol unfollowed me on the gram n everything it must be personal huh? That’s fine jus make sure y guard up next time n stop sending doubles family.
“You Tried To Flex That #1 Pick Shit On Me When I Been Rooting For You When You Was A Kid Asking To Rebound For Me @paolo5 Don’t Get On This Internet Saying Nothing… You Changed From The Humble Kid You Always Was And I Stand On Real Shit Boy And YOU KNOW!!!!!!!! You Made It And Changed And I Lost All Respect!!” “ Stay Humble. This Life You In Now Is REAL And Ain’t No Joke!!! I STILL WANNA SEE YOU WIN Cause That’s WHO I AM!!!”
ClutchPoints: “It’s a man’s league. He a little boy, he’s too soft.” Dejounte Murray calls Paolo a “little boy” and “soft” ￼ (via @HomeTeamHoops )
Playmaker: This year’s #1 pick, Paolo Banchero, got schooled by Dejounte Murray at #ZekeEnd @RockyPadila
Harrison Wind: Former Nugget Brandon Goodwin threw a punch at Bones Hyland at a Pro-Am today in Atlanta.
To recall back in 2019, Holmgren became the talk of social media after he crossed Curry and dunked the ball on him. The then-high school big man basically used Steph’s own move on him. Now, he just made it to the NBA, with the Oklahoma City Thunder using their second overall pick on him. Curry couldn’t be any prouder of what several of his camp’s alumni have accomplished, including Holmgren. While he will never forget how Chet embarrassed him, he said it’s “dope” that they are now going to face each other in the big boys’ league. “Chet hit me with my own move, little double behind the back … he finished it differently than I would though, I would have just pulled up from 3, he went to the basket and dunked on another dude. It’s pretty dope that he’s now in the league as the No. 2 pick,” Curry explained, per Bleacher Report.
Maxey thrived in the new role. He averaged 18.7 points and shot 48% from deep playing next to Harden. Now that the two have been able to work out in the summer, the young guard out of Kentucky is ready to build more with The Beard. “It’s gonna be great,” said Maxey at his 1% skills camp on Saturday. “Chemistry is everything. We only played like 20-something games together so for us to be able to have a whole training camp and an entire season together, it’s gonna be nothing but good things for us and a positive outcome.”