Keith Smart Rumors
Fizdale also didn’t integrate his coaching staff well enough, exclusively talking to Keith Smart during games while excluding others. (Smart also got the ax). That’s one item which Miller has amended, getting input from all. He went out of his way to credit his “great staff” the other day — Pat Sullivan, Jud Buechler and Kaleb Canales.
Chris Iseman: Statement from the Knicks: “Today, head coach David Fizdale and assistant coach Keith Smart were relieved of their coaching duties. Assistant coach Mike Miller has been named interim head coach.”
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 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.