David Fizdale is out as head coach of the New York Knicks.
Knicks fired coach David Fizdale, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 6, 2019
As is one of Fiz’s top assistants, Keith Smart.
Knicks also dismissed assistant Keith Smart, league source tells ESPN. https://t.co/op7sOkJiiz— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 6, 2019
The timing is maybe a little weird, because it was honestly surprising that Fiz even made it to the postgame podium after the Knicks’ second straight loss of 30-plus points on Thursday night.
2019-20 is the 74th season in Knicks franchise history.— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) December 6, 2019
They’ve played more than 6,000 games.
They had never lost two consecutive games by 30+ points.
Until this week.
Apparently Fizdale was allowed to run practice today with Scott Perry and Steve Mills in attendance and was let go afterwards, because things can never just be normal with this team.
Source confirms Fizdale and Smart let go after practice. Unsure why Fizdale ran practice with Scott Perry and Steve Mills present.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) December 6, 2019
Fizdale ends his Knicks coaching career with a 21-83 record (good for a .202 winning percentage, easily the worst in team history “ahead” of Larry Brown’s .280). Fizdale’s Knicks last year tied a team record for least wins in a season with 17, and this year were on a pace for about 15, currently sitting at 4-18.
While most fans and the front office gave Fizdale a pass last season due to the blatantly tanking nature of the team, a lack of defensive identity, inconsistent rotations and an uncreative offense plagued the team during its worst season. This year, despite an infusion of talent on the roster, the results managed to get worse with greater expectations. Say what you will about the fit of guys like Julius Randle, Marcus Morris, Elfrid Payton and the like, but they’re almost certainly better players than Noah Vonleh, Emmanuel Mudiay and Mario Hezonja (to say nothing of adding RJ Barrett as well). Things shouldn’t be this bad.
With rumors of Jim Dolan wanting to make a run at the Raptors’ Masai Ujiri this offseason to run the Knicks, who knows if Steve Mills and Scott Perry are safe either. For now, it’d seem like whoever gets the interim head coach tag is going to need to milk a little more out of this roster to keep those two off the hot seat as well. Speaking of:
Knicks assistants Mike Miller and Pat Sullivan are candidates to become interim head coach, league sources tell @ramonashelburne and me.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 6, 2019
Miller would seem like the most likely candidate, given that he was promoted from the Westchester Knicks this offseason to Fizdale’s staff (likely with the idea of being a good potential interim coach in the event that Fizdale didn’t do well this season). He had a good amount of success with the Knicks’ minor league club too, and oversaw the development of a number of players that came up to the big Knicks (Trey Burke, Luke Kornet, Kadeem Allen, etc.). That track record could make him a good fit to take the reins on a young Knicks roster for the rest of the year.
Either way, we’ll keep you updated! Gonna be an eventful few days.
Here’s your update. As expected, it’s Miller time.
The Knicks are naming assistant Mike Miller as the interim head coach, per league sources.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 6, 2019
If any more news drops, we gotcha.