After much adieu and a number of interviews (an encouraging trend in Knicks land) the Knicks decided to finally switch their status from "it's complicated" to "in a relationship" with David Fizdale's reported assistant coaching staff today.
Keith Smart, Jud Buechler, Pat Sullivan and Royal Ivey are Fizdale's new assistants, and the coach sounded excited to have his new compadres on board:
“We’re thrilled to have this diverse group of high character coaches join the Knicks,” said Fizdale. “They are highly motivated and bring a wealth of basketball experience that will be a great fit in developing and building this team. All four coaches are tireless workers, reliable teammates and share the same intense passion to win.”
Diverse! High character! I don't think we're in Knicksas anymore, Todo.
Smart comes from the Grizzlies, where he was part of Fizdale's staff before his firing, and served the rest of this past season under JB Bickerstaff. Smart's been coaching in the NBA since 2000, and had brief head coaching stints with the Cavs, Warriors and Kings.
Buechler comes with a championship pedigree! (He coached the Lakers' Summer League team to a title two years ago.) He's been the Lakers' player development coach the last two seasons, which, quite frankly, is a good endorsement. Many young Lakers, from Julius Randle to Brandon Ingram to Lonzo Ball, have shown marked improvement the past two seasons. Also, there's this cool little tidbit:
Good backstory on Jud Buechler to the Knicks. During summers in the 90s, Buechler went home to Southern California. With the help of a University of San Diego point guard, he organized open runs in the Toreros gym.— Bill Oram (@billoram) June 7, 2018
That point guard was David Fizdale.
Ivey's a New Yorker (born in Harlem), and served the past two seasons as an assistant under Billy Donovan in Oklahoma City as a player development assistant after a journeyman playing career.
Sullivan has actual championship experience, from his role as a video coordinator on the 2004-05 Pistons under Larry Brown (shudder). He spent the last two seasons under Doc Rivers as an assistant for the Clippers.
Are you more of a visual learner? Well, the Knicks made a handy video for you then!
Get to know our new Assistant Coach hires joining David Fizdale’s staff pic.twitter.com/LASakScIOL— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) June 7, 2018
So, thus ends another chapter in the saga of the Knicks' 2018 offseason. Now it would seem that the whole organization can turn its focus solely onto the draft later this month.
What do you think of the new hires? Sound off in the comments.