In his quest to create the most awesome “father/son” dynamic these Knicks have seen since JR Smith and Mike Woodson, David Fizdale is taking not one, not two, but three of his large basketball-playing sons to go see some playoff ball in Boston for tonight’s Eastern Conference Finals Game 5 between the Cavs and the Celtics.
Ian Begley of ESPN first reported that Fizdale would be taking Frank Ntilikina to the game:
Another sign that suggests NYK is high on 2017 first-round pick Frank Ntilikina: new head coach David Fizdale is traveling to Boston with Ntilikina to attend Game 5 of the Celtics-Cavs Eastern Conference Finals, a league source confirmed. More: https://t.co/AR18hgWaqC— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) May 23, 2018
And then, shortly thereafter, Marc Berman of the NY Post confirmed that Fizdale would also be taking Damyean Dotson and Emmanuel Mudiay to the game:
Fizdale, whose stated goal is to establish “great relationships” with his players, will bring along two of his young point guards in Ntilikina and Emmanuel Mudiay as well as the Knicks’ 2017 second-round pick, shooting guard Damyean Dotson, on a trip to Beantown.
According to the source, Fizdale hopes it will be a bonding experience they learn from, as the three players, all 24 and younger, experience the intensity level and atmosphere of a championship-level playoff game.
OK, first off, this is amazing fanfic material. I imagine Fizdale will absolutely need to smack Mudiay’s hand down as he tries to order himself some cotton candy in the crowd. And he’ll try to introduce Frank to some people from around the league, and Frank will definitely clutch Fiz’s arm and stare at the floor like a shy kid and then bashfully say, “Bonjour, je suis Frank.”
Secondly, as Berman noted, this is a really cool idea on Fizdale’s part. Although all three players were with the Knicks last season, Mudiay came in as a trade deadline acquisition and Dotson spent a lot of time with the Westchester Knicks in the G-League. Trying to build some extra camaraderie among these guys certainly can’t hurt matters. Watching some high-level basketball at the pinnacle of the Eastern Conference (in a division rival’s house) is just icing on the cake.
Also, credit to Carlos on Twitter for making tonight that much better:
When Mark Jackson sees Fizdale and Ntilikina in the stands bonding tonight and leaves the stadium crying >>>— Carlos (@youssefcarlos4) May 23, 2018